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Logo infringement and unfair competition

The benefits of the capitalist system in the United States extend to both small and large companies in Texas and elsewhere in the country. And, there are federal regulations in place that level the playing field and prevent unscrupulous business owners from stealing customers through trademark infringement. Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute explains the law addressing this element of unfair competition.

The Federal Trade Commission regulates the arena of trademark infringement, which often affects customers as well as the company that suffers the loss. By copying another’s registered mark, a business owner may benefit from the popularity of that brand and steal trade from the owner while offering consumers a product that may be lesser quality. Trademark infringement falls under tort law, so companies that commit this crime may be sued in civil court.

Convenience Store News reports on a local example of logo infringement litigation filed by Buc-ee’s Ltd., a Texas-based company. This lawsuit states that Choke Canyon Travel Center has imitated the design of its logo, as well as the color schemes, company materials, signage and store layout, among others. The plaintiff claims that Choke Canyon also offers products such as clothes, drinks and food that bear the allegedly copied logo.

The plaintiff wants the operator of Choke Canyon Travel Center, Harlow Foods Inc., to pay attorney’s fees and other expenses related to the lawsuit in addition to either the profits made based on confusion over the logo, or three times the amount of damages suffered as a result of the alleged infringement. 

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