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What happens when a company copies your trademark?

Developing goods or services that allow you to provide unique offers to consumers is an important part of growing your business in Houston, Texas. To protect these from other businesses and maintain your niche in the marketplace, you can file for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If another company creates a similar mark or brand that leads customers to believe they are getting your product or service, that company could be guilty of trademark infringement, which is unfair competition and is against the law.

According to the USPTO, you have the right to file a civil action against the company that you believe has committed trademark infringement. In court, you will have to prove the following:

  •          You own the mark
  •          You created it first
  •          The copy is likely to be mistaken for yours on the market

The judge will also evaluate other factors, such as how much the marks resemble each other, the similarities between your products or services and the other company’s, how and where those are marketed, and the range of potential customers. Some business disputes over trademarks involve whether the similar mark has the possibility to connect your company with an objectionable product or service.

If your lawsuit is successful, the court will order the other company to stop using their version of your mark, and may require them to destroy all the infringing items. You may also receive monetary compensation for the profits lost and court fees. This information about trademark infringement is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice.

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