Los Angeles Trademark Dispute Lawyer
Claims of Trademark Infringement
A trademark is a way to indicate ownership. They can be used by individuals and corporations alike to distinguish a product, service, idea or other commodity from other products in the marketplace. As is the case with business litigation, trademark usually comes to play when there has been an alleged trademark infringement. What this means is that typically someone will seek legal help because they are claiming another entity infringed on their trademark or someone will seek legal help because someone is claiming that they are the ones doing the infringing. In either instance, a Los Angeles business attorney can help. At Matthews Law Firm, Inc. we understand that a trademark infringement or alleged infringement can drastically affect your reputation and the success of your business.
Trademark infringement is typically connected to the crime of counterfeiting. If an individual or business uses a product or service that belongs to someone else by trademark and attempts to copy it for the purpose of financial gain, then this is considered trademark infringement and attempting to make a counterfeit product or service. There are three basic types of trademarks. Each is distinguished by its respective symbol that can be found on a corresponding product. A "TM" symbol is used to indicate something called an unregistered trademark. These do not indicate any type of registration. Registration is indicated by the registered trademark symbol which is the symbol "R" with a circle around it. The final type of trademark is the service mark or "SM" in superscript font which indicates an unregistered service mark used for the purpose of promoting a brand. This often includes slogans or taglines.
Enforcing Trademark Rights
If you hold a trademark, you can speak with a business attorney about enforcing your rights as a trademark holder. An attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove that someone or a business wrongfully infringed upon your property. On the other hand, those accused of trademark infringement can speak with an attorney about the various defenses and potentially disproving a claim. There are various defenses against trademark infringement allegations. Typical defenses are: limits on location, fair use and abandonment. "Fair use" relates to free expression that is allowed for under the First Amendment. If the individual was not attempting to profit from the infringed material, then it may be considered fair use. Abandonment relates to the use of phrases without a trademark. For example, an affirmative defense against trademark infringement against Nike's slogan "Just do it™" would be to say that you were simply using the phrase to describe something, rather than to promote it.
In some cases, claims of infringement are completely unfounded and outright wrongful. What can happen in these situations is that a larger company could use trademark infringement claims as a form of intimidation. If you are an individual or a small company and are being threatened with this type of claim then you should speak with a Los Angeles trademark infringement lawyer from Matthews Law Firm. We defend individuals and companies against wrongful claims as well as fight for the rights of those whose trademark is being infringed upon.
Speak with a Los Angeles business attorney about your case!
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark registration "is valid as long as you timely file all post registration maintenance documents." Our firm can guide you through trademark and patent law in order to ensure that your product or intellectual property is protected. When a trademark dispute arises, please don't hesitate to contact a Los Angeles business lawyer from the firm today.