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Elements of a trademark infringement claim

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2016 | Intellectual Property |

New York residents may know the importance of protecting their intellectual property rights-that is protecting creative work invented by them so that they not only are the only ones to benefit monetarily from it but also so if a similar product is made defectively, they are not affected by it. One of the ways to protect your work is by registering a trademark.

Trademark law ensures that the owner has the exclusive right to use their trademark to prevent confusion with similar looking goods or services so as to avoid confusion. When someone else uses a trademark that is not registered in their name, the trademark owner may have a case for trademark infringement.

In order to prove trademark infringement in court, the first thing the plaintiff must show is that they have a valid mark that is entitled to protection and that the infringing party used the mark (whether the same or similar) to sell their own goods or services without the plaintiff’s consent. Therefore, the first thing the plaintiff must prove is that the defendant ‘used’ their mark-this is a threshold matter.

The second element that must be proven is that the infringing party’s use of the trademark will cause confusion to the consumer-they will connect or associate the good or service with the plaintiff. The likelihood of confusion element is the basis of the trademark infringement claim. There are different standards used by the court when it comes to competing and noncompeting goods. The law also requires that the plaintiff demonstrate that the use of the trademark substantially affects interstate commerce, such as the good being advertised in more than one state.

If someone else is trying to benefit unlawfully from the hard work a New York resident has put into making their services and products well-known in the market, the trademark owner should know that they have legal rights and remedies they can avail. Each element of the case must be proven separately in order to be successful in a trademark infringement case and an experience intellectual property rights lawyer may be able to facilitate aggrieved parties.

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