A trademark is the mark of your trade. It lets people identify you from the products or service that you provide. As such, it’s your brand or your marketing identity. Therefore, in today’s world, it holds the most value.
Unsurprisingly, it’s this value that has made trademark infringement so common. There are culprits out there who aren’t afraid to copy your brand name/logo/shape or else over their products to sell/provide them as their own. In recent years, such cases have increased and to this very day, they continue to escalate. So what to do? How you should deal with trademark infringement?
The best ways to deal with trademark infringement
When you realize that someone has stolen or copied your mark, your first reaction is a violent one. Not willing to step back, you get on the phone and call a trademark attorney to get suggestions. However, the answer that the attorney will give you will be surprising. “How to deal with trademark infringement?” is a question that most often has a simple solution, but no one is going to tell you that, except now.
- Find out if your trademark is truly being infringed: Trademark infringement has a proper definition defined in the Trademark Laws of India. If you’ve licensed someone to use your trademark and it’s being used within the confines of that agreement then your trademark is not being infringed. Also, if your trademark is not registered, then filing the trademark infringement case is a callous move, considering you are willingly pushing yourself in the whirlpool of common law where your case might not be settled.
- Find out if you are the infringed or the infringer: Suppose you’ve registered your trademark 3 years ago and someone else started using it 4 years ago without registering it. It would mean that the other person has been using the trademark longer than you, making you the infringer. In such cases, it’s you who should stop and change your trademark.
- Contact the trademark infringer: If you come across your trademark being used by someone else, or if someone else is using the same trademark as you, contact them. Get on the phone and tell them (politely) that the trademark is already registered in your name. Considering that most cases of trademark infringement are innocent, chances are that the infringer will stop using the trademark then and there.
- Check if you can partner up with your trademark infringer: Now, when your trademark is being used by someone else, you consider them an enemy. And, the last thing on your mind will be to work with your enemy. However, hear us out. Anyone can be turned into an enemy but only sometimes, you can have an opportunity to partner with some. If the infringer has been particularly successfully in branding himself using your trademark, then it means that he/she is better at branding than you. It also means that you partnership with him/her can give you a better chance of business growth.
- File a Cease and Desist notice: If talking doesn’t help, file a cease and desist letter. It’s a court order that will prompt the alleged infringer to stop his/her usage of your trademark.
Taking the court route should always be your absolute last option. But, if nothing helps, it’s the only option that can help you retain the ownership of your trademark.
Trademark infringement and how to deal with it is a topic that can confuse a lot of people and make them select the worse options. However, through this article, we’ve tried to give you an alternative which is up to you to take or not. Additionally, if a case emerges where you find yourself facing financial damages due to trademark infringement, you should consult with our trademark attorneys.