Archive for the ‘Enforcing Your Trademark Rights’ Category

Using a Trademark Actively

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

A business that claims to own a trademark cannot stop others from using the same
or a similar trademark unless it is actively using the trademark.

In trademark law, “using” a trademark means putting it to work in the
marketplace to identify goods or services. This doesn’t mean that the product
or service actually has to be sold, as long as it is legitimately offered to
the public under the trademark in question.

 

Dilution Statutes

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

under federal (and some state) laws known as
dilution statutes, you may go to court to prevent your trademark from being
used by someone else if your mark is famous and the other company’s use would
dilute the mark’s strength — that is, weaken its reputation for quality
(called tarnishment) or render it common through overuse in different contexts
(called weakening). The key element is that your mark is famous — that is,
distinctive and recognizable.

Dilution statutes apply even if there is no way customers would
be likely to confuse the source of the goods or services with those sold by the
owner of the famous mark.

Prevent trademark infringement of your business

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

As the owner of a trademark, when you can stop others from using your trademark,
or a confusingly similar one, depends on such factors as:

  • whether the trademark is being used on competing goods
    or services (goods or services compete if the sale of one is likely to
    affect the sale of the other)
  • whether consumers would likely be confused by the dual
    use of the trademark, and
  • whether the trademark is being used in the same part of
    the country or is being used on related goods (goods that will likely be noticed
    by the same customers, even if they don’t compete with each other).

 

Trademark Notices: ® or TM?

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

The “R” in a circle (®) notice should accompany a trademark after it has
been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Failure to
put the notice on a registered trademark can greatly reduce the possibility of
recovering significant damages if it later becomes necessary to file a lawsuit
against an infringer. The ® symbol may not be put on a mark unless it has been
registered with the USPTO.

Many
people like to put a “TM” (or “SM” for service mark) next
to their trademark or service mark to let the world know that they are claiming
ownership of it. However, it is not legally necessary to provide this type of
notice; the use of the trademark or service mark itself is the act that confers
ownership.

 

Enforcing Your Trademark Rights

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Dilution Statutes
under federal (and some state) laws known as dilution statutes, you may go to court to prevent your trademark from being used by someone else if your mark is famous and the other company’s use would dilute the mark’s strength — that is, weaken its reputation for quality (called garnishment) or render it common through overuse in different contexts (called weakening). The key element is that your mark is famous — that is, distinctive and recognizable.

Dilution statutes apply even if there is no way customers would be likely to confuse the source of the goods or services with those sold by the owner of the famous mark.