Trademark infringement - intellectual property law

What is trademark infringement? Registering a trademark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is a way of distinguishing your products or services from those of your competitors. A trademark can be a unique company name, logo, product name, tag line or a myriad of other things that your business is or does, as long as it meets the requirements. It means that if someone else, whether they are an individual or a business, tries to use something that is the same, or very similar to a trademark that you have registered, this would be copyright infringement.

If you have registered a trademark, you’re able to take legal action if someone uses it without your permission. You can also use the registered trademark symbol ® next to anything you have registered as a trademark to publicly show that it has trademark protection. Registering a trademark also enables you to sell and license your brand if you wish to.

Trademark registrations last for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years. However, if you fail to pay the renewal fee on time, the trademark will expire, and this brand element will no longer be protected.

 

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Trademark infringements in the UK

  • Using your trademark without permission
  • Using your trademark with a view to commercial gain
  • Using identical marks for similar goods or services
  • Counterfeiting your goods or services
  • Falsely indicating the origin or the quality of the goods or services

Whilst similar in some ways, trademark infringement should not be confused with ‘passing off’, which relates to unregistered marks.

If you hold any trademarks, it’s recommended that you remain vigilant in relation to your marketplace, so if someone does infringe on your trademark, you are aware of it as quickly as possible so that you can take action, if needed.

If you have a trademark that you believe is being infringed by an individual or a business, you can start legal action against them. Get in touch with the team of experienced intellectual property and trademark infringement solicitors at Stephensons today for more information. Call us on 01616 966 229.

What can I claim for if my trademark has been infringed?

If your claim of trademark infringement is upheld in court, you may be granted an injunction which will prevent the other party from continuing any activity using your trademark(s). The court may confiscate and destroy any of the infringing goods and you may be eligible for a damages payment, depending on the circumstances.

If your business has lost out financially, if your reputation/goodwill has been damaged due to the trademark infringement, or if the other party has made financial gain from using your trademark illegally, you may be able to claim compensation from them.

If the other party is found guilty of wilful infringement of a trademark, they can face a jail sentence in addition to any damages payments they may be required to make.

Speak to the team at Stephensons to find out more about making a trademark infringement claim. Call us on 01616 966 229.

Does trademark law in the UK apply to other countries?

The current trademark rules in the UK mean that something which is trademarked in this country is only protected in the UK. You can register EU and international trademarks separately in countries that you want to protect these elements of your brand in.

What to do if accused of trademark violation?

If you have been accused of infringing a trademark, you will need to provide a defence to the claim. At Stephensons, we can help you to build a robust defence and provide all the expert advice and support that you need at this difficult and stressful time. Call us on 01616 966 229 to see how we can help.

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