In the present dynamic and competitive market, companies are under constant pressure to popularize their products or services through their unique brand name and increase their consumer base. Entities ensure their valuable assets are registered through trademarks in the form of word or logo or symbol or a combination thereof. It is one of the most efficient ways of creating a brand value enabling the customers to identify their products and differentiate them from other similar products in the store.
Choosing a strong yet unique mark is the first step to a successful business proposal following with registering the mark to gain an exclusive right. It takes in lots of efforts and brainstorming to decide on a mark and the individual or business entity must ensure that such registered marks are not misused by others to gain reputation. Protecting an intellectual property is thus of utmost importance as it represents the reputation of the company creating a favorable impression amongst the customers. The following indicators can help decide on whether others are infringing on the company’s registered trademark:
- The entity having the registered trademark has been actively using such mark.
- Consumers are confused by similar mark available in the market by other competitors.
- The use of such similar mark by the infringer is adversely affecting the competitive position of the entity having the registered mark.
- The infringer is using the registered mark or a similar mark in a similar geographic area or market.
If the infringer has been doing the above, it is clear that the registered trademark is not well protected and legal action can be taken to prevent other from doing so. However, diving into a law suit can not only be an expensive affair and time consuming as well. Hence, it should be considered as the last resort to end all the troubles. The business entity can take the following action if it suspects infringement of trademarks:
- If the product is at an early stage of development or planning stage, the business entity can file for ‘intend to use’ trademark registration clearly indicating the infringers to not prefer such similar marks.
- Using of symbols such as ® and ™ on the products or services can be persuasive preventing others from choosing similarly deceptive marks. Actual registration of a mark is not compulsory but recommended to avoid competitors from using such marks.
- As the entity becomes aware of any deceptive marks or similar products in the market affecting their market share, it can immediately send a ‘cease and desist’ order to the infringers demanding to stop using the mark.
In situations where the infringer still continues to use the registered trademark, the business entity can file matter in the district court or high court having original jurisdiction. There are civil, criminal and administrative remedies available and it is recommended having an intellect property expert handle such matters. They provide convenient solutions and ensure paramount compensation for the loss of business or other economic harm caused by such infringement.