Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Trademark Infringement Claim?

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A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which parties involved may initiate legal proceedings. Generally speaking, the United States federal law holds an average statute of limitations of five years. With this, you may wonder about the deadline for the trademark infringement claim you have been considering filing or if you have already missed it. Without further ado, continue reading to learn whether there is an enforced statute of limitations for your infringement claim and how an experienced New Jersey trademark lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can guide you through the filing process.

Is there an enforced statute of limitations for a trademark infringement claim?

Unique to most other legal actions, trademark infringement claims do not have an express statute of limitations under federal law, specifically the Lanham Act.

Rather, this deadline may be set on a case-by-case basis, as a federal judge may sooner determine the appropriate time within which a hurt claimant may sue. This is otherwise known as applying laches, a doctrine in equity whereby a federal judge may deny relief to a hurt claimant with a valid claim if they were unreasonably delayed in asserting this claim to the defendant’s detriment.

And so, in applying laches, a federal judge may reference the statute of limitations for similar claims in the same state. For example, the statute of limitations for an unfair competition claim in the state of New Jersey is generally six years from the date on which alleged damages were suffered. Therefore, if your claim entails the defendant adopting and using your registered mark to unfairly compete against you, then a federal judge may impose this six-year deadline.

When should I bring my trademark infringement claim forward?

It is always recommended to initiate your legal action sooner rather than later. But this is especially the case for your trademark infringement claim. This is because you may not be entirely certain what the imposed statute of limitations is until you speak with a lawyer or hear a federal judge’s order.

Ultimately, you do not want to risk missing this deadline. This is because even if only a single day passes after this deadline, you may be permanently barred from suing. This translates into being permanently barred from recovering financial compensation for your incurred damages. All in all, the sooner you bring your claim forward, the sooner you may be relieved from the hurt that the other party’s infringement is causing you.

When dealing with an urgent matter like this one, you must drop everything and call a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer. Our team at The Ingber Law Firm can help you put the puzzle pieces together.