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Trade Mark Infringement Solicitors
For a business, a trade mark essentially informs people who you are and why you should be trusted. Trade mark infringements can, therefore, be hugely damaging to a company’s reputation, meaning they must be defended against robustly.
The intellectual property lawyers at JMW Solicitors have expert knowledge of the law as it pertains to trade marking and trade mark violations, allowing us to provide tailored advice to ensure your business interests are protected. No matter your specific goals and circumstances, we can help your organisation achieve the best possible outcome.
How JMW Can Help
If one of your company’s trade marks appears to have been infringed, the trade mark lawyers at JMW can help you pursue proactive action against offenders, applying a rigorous and aggressive defence of your rights under trade mark law.
We have represented many UK and international brands in trade mark disputes to help them protect their intellectual property rights, and our established record of legal intervention and litigation shows that infringers are less likely to consider imitating the trade marks of businesses that develop and build an aggressively defensive reputation.
By taking advantage of our legal expertise, you can, therefore, ensure that your business is able to avoid the significant commercial damage that can result from trade mark infringements.
The Importance of Defending Against Trade Mark Violations
Trade marks communicate vital information about a business’s products and services, and can be used to identify and reassure people of their origin, quality and reputation. Trade mark infringement occurs when another party uses a sign that is substantially identical and confusable with - or deceptively similar to - a trade mark that is already in use.
Well-known brands are frequent targets for this type of activity, with disingenuous competitors illegally using copycat branding to offer poor-quality or inferior substitute goods and services, while gaining an unearned commercial advantage. As such, infringement of trade marks can be a significant threat to successful businesses, harming their revenue and profits as well as their hard-earned commercial standing, character and reputation.
It is vital for trade mark owners to maintain vigilance of their marks in the marketplace., as a failure to act can potentially lead to a trade mark being lost. Commercial threats from small-scale infringers may seem low-risk, but turning a blind eye at this stage could see a trade mark diluted in value, making future legal action more difficult.
How common is trade mark infringement?
Trademark infringement is a serious problem happening across the globe at a rising rate, often through the act of counterfeiting, with the range of fake goods and pirated items increasing hugely.
Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggest that counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for 3.3% of global trade as of 2016 - the equivalent of around £400 billion in worldwide trade.
Can two companies operate independently under the same name?
To pursue a trade mark infringement case, the law requires that it must be likely that people would confuse a company’s branded goods and services with those of another company holding a trademark of the same name.
If the two companies involved trade in different markets, it may be possible for both to enjoy an independent existence. A famous example is the case of Apple, a brand name operated separately by two high-profile companies: Apple Corps, the record label established by The Beatles, and the Cupertino-based technology giant Apple.
To learn more about the Apple vs Apple legal issues, click here.
What can be protected by a trade mark?
Trade marks can be used to legally protect a wide variety of brand-associated imagery properties and concepts, including:
- Specific words and slogans
- Designs and graphic elements
- Scents and sounds
- Colour schemes
- Communicative gestures
Can I defend against infringement of an unregistered trade mark?
If a trade mark has not been formally registered by your business, it may still be possible to defend against potentially harmful infringement of an intellectual concept associated with your brand through the tort of passing off.
This essentially prevents people from passing off their products or services as being yours or being linked to your products or services through imitation. To be successful in bringing an action for passing off, you will need to demonstrate the following:
- You have a reputation associated with the mark
- There has been a misrepresentation that could mislead the public
- You have proof of damage, for example, financial loss or damage to your brand’s goodwill
Talk to Us
To discuss a trade mark infringement issue or any other trade mark violation with our team, call JMW for free with no obligations on 0345 872 6666, or contact us through our online enquiry form to request a call back at your convenience.