With a trademark, the trademark owner has the exclusive right to use the trademark in commerce for a particular product or service, or class of products or services. That is, the trademark owner, or senior user of the trademark, has the right to prevent others, or junior users, from using the same or similar trademark to identify similar products or services. When trademark rights are violated, rightful trademark owners can seek recourse through trademark litigation in court. There are several common trademark-related causes of action:
- Trademark infringement. Trademark infringement involves the unauthorized use of a trademark belonging to another in connection with goods or services in a way that is likely to cause consumers to be confused, deceived or mistaken about the source of a particular good or service is trademark infringement.
- Trademark dilution. Trademark dilution involves the use of a famous trademark in such a way that the use diminishes the mark’s capacity to distinguish the source of the goods the famous mark is associated with.
- Passing off. When someone uses a trademark belonging to another without permission for the purpose of trying to pass off goods as being products made by the trademark owner, this is a form of unfair competition known as passing off.
There are a number of different legal remedies that trademark owners can request from the court during their trademark litigation proceedings. Some of the most common legal remedies in trademark litigations include seeking monetary compensation, court-ordered injunction, court-ordered forfeiture or destruction of the infringing goods and payment of your attorneys’ fees.
The Rapacke Law Group understands how difficult it is to try and run your business and deal with a trademark litigation matter at the same time. It can be stressful and can negatively impact your business. We work closely with our clients to obtain relief as quickly as possible. We can help you initiate a trademark infringement lawsuit and can request a preliminary injunction from the court immediately on your behalf.
Litigation at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
Trademarks can be federally registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). One option for disputing federal trademark ownership rights is through the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) at the USPTO. Two types of adversarial proceedings can be initiated at the TTAB: oppositions and cancellation proceedings. An opposition proceeding involves someone asserting that a trademark should not be allowed to be registered on the Federal Register, while a cancellation proceeding is a formal proceeding that can result in a trademark being “unregistered” from the Federal Register because there are valid grounds as to why the registered trademark should be canceled.
TTAB proceedings can be devastating to trademark holders as they can result in a trademark registration being defeated and protection being lost. When valuable trademark assets are at stake, it is important to take TTAB proceedings seriously. The trademark litigation attorneys at The Rapacke Law Group will tenaciously represent your interests before the TTAB. Let us help protect your federal trademark registration.