Businesses are pouring significant resources into tackling cases of trademark infringement.
Mathew Tully, partner of the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC, noted that as companies try to protect their brand, they are not likely to look favorably on anything that “mimics their marks or suggests any unwarranted association.”
Writing in The Saratogian, Mr. Tully stated that as a result of this, firms will frequently issue cease-and-desist letters in an effort to curtail any practices they view as a breach of their trademark.
He observed that under the terms of the Latham Act, the owner of a trademark in the U.S. can pursue civil action against any party that “uses reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable imitation of a registered mark in relation to the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services.”
If there is no blatant misuse of a trademark, then the case will be decided upon whether or not the use is likely to “cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.”
Mr. Tully referenced the Polaroid test, which is used to determine whether or not there will be any confusion between the two marks. He added the measure takes into consideration the strength of the allegedly infringed mark, the quality of the alleged infringing party’s product and its efforts to establish its own mark and the likelihood of confusion.
According to the expert, businesses should immediately get in contact with an intellectual property attorney if they are accused of infringing on another party’s trademarks or copyrights.
Esther Kirwan, a senior associate at Clarion in the UK, recently said the issue of trademark infringement is one that is getting more pertinent.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, she said there has been an increase in the number of global disputes involving UK companies because they are using the Internet to take advantage of exporting opportunities.
In order to stay on top of these types of issues, firms should look monitor their own marks.