A trademark refers to any word, slogan, symbol, design or combination thereof
that distinguishes your goods and services from that of others. Trademarks
distinguish the source of products; they are not limited to just words
and designs, in some circumstances they can also be a sound, color, or smell.
Benefits of a Federally Registered Trademark:
- Mark is listed in USPTO’s database
- Public is on notice of ownership of the mark
- Legally presumed to be the owner of that mark
- Exclusive right to use that mark
- Ability to record the registration with U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Even if the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registers
a trademark, it doesn’t mean it won’t later be challenged
by another party. The most common reason for a challenge is when a mark
looks alike, sounds alike, or has similar meanings as another party’s
mark. Or, because the goods and services are closely related.
In this case, the marks don’t need to be identical, they only need
to be similar and related. Especially, when spoken they sound similar.
Two identical marks can co-exist providing the goods and services are unrelated,
and there is no likelihood of confusion.
Trademark Infringement Claims
To prevail on a trademark infringement claim, the plaintiff must be able
to establish that he or she has a valid mark that is entitled to protection,
and that the defendant used the identical or a similar mark in connection
to the sale or advertising of goods without the plaintiff’s consent.
The “likelihood of confusion” is the central focus of a trademark
infringement case. If it is highly likely that a consumer would be confused
by the allegedly infringed mark, and would be inclined to assume that
a product or service represented the plaintiff’s product or service,
then the plaintiff may have a strong case.
On the other hand, if the goods or services in question are completely
unrelated, then confusion is unlikely and the courts generally won’t
find that infringement has occurred.
Looking for an Orange County
attorney to represent you in a trademark infringement case? Contact
The Mirkhan Law Firm, APC
to work with an accomplished legal team!