Business Trademark: Understanding and Protecting against Infringement
Your business trademark allows your customers to identify and distinguish your goods and services in the market. Therefore, it is an important asset for your company, and it should be protected against competitors and other business owners. Ideally, you should secure your rights against this type of violation by registering the pertinent mark. You can also safeguard the ownership through common law if you are using an unregistered trademark under special circumstances. Unfortunately, unfavourable circumstances can still lead to the illegal usage of your trademark by other parties. It is important to understand this infringement and attached laws so that you will protect your trademark suitably.
You should understand whether the perceived case of infringement is viable before making a legal case against another business. According to the Trade Marks Act, there are three circumstances of infringement that are legally recognised, so consider these with regard to your business. Your trademark would be considered infringed if the sign by another company has substantial similarities or has a deceptive likeness. The violation is highly significant if the infringing company deals in the same goods and services or a closely related business category. Additionally, infringement will be given more credence if your trademark is well-known in the market by the customer base.
Letter of Demand
If your trademark has been infringed, you should engage trade marks attorneys for legal guidance. They will help you with the first step in dealing with the problem which is sending a letter of demand. This step can prevent legal problems and stressful negotiations, especially if the infringement was an accidental mistake. A good letter should outline your ownership and sole rights to the trademark. It should also specify the infringing conduct and provide a timeline to resolve every issue related to the infringement. You should also make it clear that you will start legal proceedings if the issue is not resolved. In some situations, your attorney might advise against sending the letter of demand. This prevents the guilty party from destroying proof of the infringement.
Litigation or Alternative Resolution
You can choose to pursue legal assistance in court or resolve the issues through alternative methods, depending on the results of the letter. The latter option is favourable because you will avoid the legal fees and time spent in courts. Basically, you and the other party will invite a professional dispute resolver to help you reach an understanding. If you cannot resolve the problems in this way, you should pursue court assistance by initiating legal proceedings.