If an intellectual property owner believes you are infringing upon their registered mark, they may file a lawsuit in a federal or state court. You must acquire the appropriate legal representation and build a solid defense with this. Otherwise, you may be facing serious penalties and consequences. Continue reading to learn whether you will be penalized for committing trademark infringement and how an experienced New Jersey trademark lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you fight against such accusations.
In what ways might I be penalized for committing trademark infringement?
In a trademark infringement claim, the plaintiff must prove that their ownership over the mark has been established through its registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Moreover, they must provide evidence of how your use of a similar mark has created confusion amongst their targeted consumers. Lastly, they must demonstrate how the existence of your similar mark has diluted the value or strength of theirs.
Ultimately, if the plaintiff can make a convincing case against you, then the federal or state court may rule that you are guilty of trademark infringement. This ruling may lead to you being penalized in any or all of the following ways:
- The court may order an injunction against you, which is essentially a command to either alter your mark or stop doing business altogether.
- The court may order you to pay monetary damages, which are essentially the financial losses suffered by the plaintiff as a direct result of your infringement.
- The court may order you to pay attorney’s fees and court costs, which are essentially expenses incurred by the plaintiff as a direct result of your infringement.
Will I be able to fight this claim placed against me?
Most trademark infringement cases are handled in civil court. However, if your case is serious enough, it may be taken to federal criminal court; and ultimately result in penalties like fines, probation, and/or jail time. Before it gets anywhere near this point, you must build a strong legal defense. That is, you must fight against a trademark accusation claim in any or all of the following ways:
- You may claim descriptive fair use, which is essentially the fair use of a mark to describe your product or service.
- You may claim nominative fair use, which is essentially the fair use of your mark to reference the actual product or service it intends to identify.
- You may claim laches, which is essentially an unreasonable delay by the plaintiff in filing their claim.
With the complex legal proceedings ahead, you should not go through it alone. Rather, you should have a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer from The Ingber Law Firm stand by your side throughout. Contact our firm today.