Orange County Trademark Infringement Lawyer
Helping Clients in Orange County, CA, Overcome Trademark Infringement
Registering a trademark is the best way to protect any intellectual property you intend to use commercially. No matter what type of branded goods or services you intend to sell, you must prepare for the possibility that other parties will attempt to hijack your brand identity for their own gain and misuse your trademarked materials without your consent or approval. The Kinder Law Group can provide the legal guidance you need to protect your trademark from infringement. Additionally, we can also be your Orange County trademark infringement attorneys when another party accuses you of infringing on their trademark.
What Is Trademark Infringement?
Trademark infringement refers to any unauthorized use of a registered trademark. When an intellectual property owner applies to register a trademark, they apply for specific uses or intended future uses. Before they can get a registration, they must also submit a specimen showing how they use the trademark. A properly registered trademark protects the trademark from infringement. Still, it is ultimately up to the trademark owner to monitor for trademark infringement and take legal action against any parties that misuse their intellectual property.
Trademark infringement can occur in many different ways. Typically, the copying, reproduction, or otherwise unauthorized representation of a trademark qualifies as trademark infringement. Trademark infringement occurs when the relevant consumers of the products or services are confused or are likely to be confused about the source of the products or services. When consumers mistakenly believe there is a connection, affiliation, relationship, authorization, etc. between two trademarks, that is when the issue of trademark infringement arises.
What to Do If Someone Infringes Upon Your Trademark
If you believe that any other party has infringed upon your trademark property, you need to consult an Orange County trademark infringement attorney as soon as possible to determine the best available remedy to the situation. The Kinder Law Group can help you in several ways to protect your trademark, starting by deciding whether trademark infringement has indeed occurred. You have probably seen many brands and trademarked properties that share similar or even identical names.
These trademarks can coexist without legal friction because they are dissimilar in the goods and services they provide. For trademark infringement to have occurred, the average consumer would need to be confused by the original trademark and the alleged infringing mark. It is also possible for infringement to occur based on sight, sound, or appearance. For example, an infringing mark does not necessarily need to be an exact reproduction of the original trademark for infringement to occur. The infringing mark must only be similar enough to potentially confuse the average consumer.
The next determining factor in identifying trademark infringement is the location in which the trademark is registered and used. For example, a small family-owned hardware store in California may be unlikely to confuse customers of a small hardware store in Pennsylvania that shares the same name. However, the growth of eCommerce in the United States has effectively broken down many geographic barriers and has increased the likelihood of geographically distant trademarks effectively competing against one another.
If your Orange County trademark infringement attorney determines that trademark infringement has indeed occurred, the next step may be to send a cease and desist letter to the infringing party. This notifies them that they are infringing upon your trademark and must cease the infringing activity or face legal action. If they do not heed this warning, your attorney can help you file a civil lawsuit against them in state or federal court. Because trademark infringement is most often a matter of federal law, your Orange County trademark infringement attorney at The Kinder Law Group can file your claim in federal court.
What to Do If You Are Accused of Trademark Infringement
It is possible that even if you have registered your trademark, another party might accuse you of infringing upon their trademark. If this occurs, The Kinder Law Group can provide the defense representation you need. Your Orange County trademark infringement attorney will first help you prove that you either did not infringe on the trademark in question and possibly even challenge whether the trademark in question was registered appropriately.
If you have received a cease and desist letter from a trademark owner accusing you of infringement, it’s vital to have your Orange County trademark infringement lawyer examine the letter immediately. They can identify any weaknesses in the sender’s argument. If your attorney determines that the basis of the cease and desist letter is frivolous or holds no legal weight, they may simply advise that you ignore it. In other cases, it may be possible for your attorney to work out a business deal with the trademark owner, potentially leading to a licensing agreement. It is also possible that your attorney may advise petitioning the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel the sender’s trademark registration. If you believe that a trademark holder has not protected or used their trademark appropriately, or if they have failed to properly re-register their trademark, this could be an opportunity to register your own trademark or at the very least, avoid expensive litigation.
Another option would be to file a lawsuit against the sender under the Declaratory Judgment Act, compelling a court to determine whether your actions constitute infringement. This type of case involves a careful review of the alleged violation, and the court must decide whether infringement has occurred, and if so, to what extent.
Potential Penalties for Trademark Infringement
If your Orange County trademark infringement attorney determines that infringement has indeed occurred, the penalties the infringing party faces range from substantial financial penalties to imprisonment depending on the breadth and severity of their violation. The infringing party will be responsible for repaying all lost profits to the trademark holder. They are also responsible for the trademark owner’s legal fees and court costs, and the court will likely assign a fine of up to $150,000 for each instance of infringement.
Depending on how extensive the infringement in question was, the financial impact of being found guilty of trademark infringement can be quite severe. The court will also issue an injunction against the infringing party that compels them to stop all activities that constitute an infringement on the trademark in question.
Why Choose The Kinder Law Group?
Whether you are being accused of trademark infringement or need to take action against an infringer, the attorneys at The Kinder Law Group will aggressively defend and enforce your rights. Many general practice firms will claim to handle everything from employment litigation and real property disputes to trademark infringement matters. The reality, however, is that trademark law is one of the most complex areas of the law. With a multi-factor test to determine infringement and oftentimes the need for expert witnesses and market surveys, you simply must have a firm experience in handling trademark infringement matters.
It is also important to choose a law firm that has actual trial experience. Before you select an attorney, ask them if they have ever actually tried a trademark infringement case before a jury – odds are they probably haven’t. That is because the vast majority of cases settle, and there are few attorneys who have actually taken a case through to trial before a jury. By contrast, The Kinder Law Group has extensive experience handling trademark infringement litigation matters for our clients. We have successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants alike in federal district courts throughout the United States, as well as before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
As part of the litigation process, we prepare and respond to cease and desist letters, initiate, and respond to federal court complaints, use federal court discovery tools by issuing and responding to interrogatories, request production of documents, as well as take and defend depositions. Using advanced mediation training, The Kinder Law Group knows how to position your case for settlement and avoid costly litigation through successful mediation and negotiated resolutions. However, if a settlement cannot be achieved and trial is necessary, The Kinder Law Group also has the trial experience needed to prosecute and defend a case all the way before a jury.
Secure Your Legal Counsel for Trademark Infringement Today
Whether you believe another party has infringed upon your trademark or if you are accused of trademark infringement, an Orange County trademark infringement attorney is your best asset for navigating these situations. Contact The Kinder Law Group today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County trademark infringement lawyer and see how our firm can help you.