What is common law trademark infringement?

What is common law trademark infringement?

A common law trademark is a type of infringement protection for intellectual property wherein the property is used in commerce before it’s federally registered. The U.S. common law trademark starts when you use the mark in commerce for the first time within a geographic area.

Are trademarks protected by common law?

A common law trademark provides protection for a symbol, logo, product name, or other words or marks that identify the source of goods or services before it is registered with the state or federal government.

What are the two common legal defenses to trademark infringement claims?

The most common defenses in trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution suits include descriptive fair use, nominative fair use, laches, unclean hands and trademark misuse, fraud in obtaining the registration, and application of the First Amendment.

How does a common law trademark work?

A common law trademark is a trademark established solely through use in commerce in a specific geographical area. Business names, logos, and phrases that are regularly used–even though they have never been federally registered–can all be considered common law trademarks.

Can I use a trademark without registering it?

If you do not register your trademark, you will have legal rights only within the geographic areas where you operate. Although the range of protection is limited to the region where you use your unregistered trademark, you can protect an unregistered but valid trademark from infringement and dilution under common law.

What are the limitations to only having common law protection for trademarks?

Geographic limitation of common law marks Common law trademark rights are limited to the geographic area in which the mark is used. Thus, if a coffee blend is sold under the name BLASTER in California only, the trademark rights to that name exist only in California.

How do you protect common law trademarks?

The only way to truly protect your common law trademark is by making it a federal registration. As your business grows, national protection of the goodwill behind your brand and product becomes a top priority, and investing in a federal trademark registration is a wise business decision.

What are some common copyright infringement penalties?

The legal penalties for copyright infringement are:

  • Infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits.
  • The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
  • Infringer pays for all attorneys fees and court costs.
  • The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.

How do you enforce common law trademark rights?

However, common law trademark rights can be hard to enforce because there is no public record of your trademark or when your trademark use began. To obtain federal trademark registration, you must file an application with the USPTO and have it approved.

What are remedies for trademark infringement?

Remedies for trademark infringement may include lost profits, damages and attorney fees. When a violation of registered trademarks takes place and it is believed to have been an intentional infringement, a judge may award a plaintiff money from the defendant regarding any lost profits resulting from the infringement.

How do I sue someone for trademark infringement?

Send a Cease-and-Desist Letter. When you find that your mark is being used by an unauthorized person or company,filing a lawsuit is typically not the most sensible first step.

  • Filing a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit. If your cease-and-desist letter is ignored,then you may decide that you have little choice but to sue.
  • Using a Trademark Actively.
  • What are the damages for trademark infringement?

    Statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement are damages provided for under federal law, which is an advantage to the claimant because other types of damages (lost profits, compensatory damages) can be difficult to prove.

    What are the consequences for trademark infring?

    Monetary reimbursement for losses to the plaintiff

  • An injunction requiring the defendant to stop producing/using/distributing goods with the trademark
  • Seizure of goods that use or incorporate the unauthorized trademark