Technically you can’t be sued for not registering your trademark. However, if you go into the market with a name, slogan, design or any other symbol that represents your brand, without making sure it has not already been trademarked, you could be sued for Trademark Infringement.
If you step into the marketplace without carrying out a proper trademark search to ensure there are no other similar or identical brands in the market, you will likely be liable for trademark infringement.
What is trademark infringement?
Trademark infringement is the unlawful use of a service mark or trademark.
If you use a trademark or service mark that might confuse, deceive or create misunderstanding regarding where a company, product, or service came from, you may be committing trademark infringement.
What happens when someone sues me for trademark infringement?
Trademark owners who believe that their mark is being used unlawfully or that an entity using a similar mark is causing confusion in the public domain can sue for trademark infringement.
Depending on the situation, the trademark owner can file a civil lawsuit in a federal or state court for trademark infringement.
Furthermore, if the trademark owner can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of trademark infringement, here are the possible remedies that the court might apply;
● the court will issue a cease and desist order instructing you to stop using your trademark with immediate effect;
● the court could issue an order asking you to destroy or forfeit any infringing products in your possession;
● the court could order to provide monetary relief, which might include any profit made from the use of the trademark to compensate the plaintiff of all damages that they suffered while you used their mark;
● the court could also order you to pay the plaintiffs’ attorney’s bills in some instances;
On the other hand, after hearing the merits of the case, the judge can rule that you’re not infringing on the rights of anyone and throw out the case. However, just going to Court to defend your rights may cost you thousands, even tens of thousands.
Potential Effects of a guilty judgment in a trademark infringement case:
Trademark infringement lawsuits are costly and can impact your business negatively. If you’re found guilty, you’ll need to rebrand your business from scratch, simply because you didn’t carry out a Trademark search.
How to avoid trademark infringement?
To avoid trademark infringement, you need to perfectly understand trademark law, conduct good research, and have sound judgment.
Before you begin a new business venture, you must ensure your trademark is not too similar to an existing mark, and this is where Trademark Depot can help.
Trademark Depot has seasoned professionals to help you with your trademark search and registration. We will conduct a comprehensive trademark search for you and monitor the existing trademark applications to ensure that your proposed trademark has the best possible chances of successfully registering and that there are no potential roadblocks along the way.
Do you have more questions about trademark registration and infringements or any other aspects of trademarking?
We’d be happy to answer them. Get in touch today. You can contact us anytime by calling 1-833 TEAM TMD (1-833-832-6863), sending us an email at [email protected] or visiting our website at www.trademarkdepot.ca