Fighting To Protect Your Trademark
Trademarks can be among the most important assets a company owns. Unscrupulous competitors may recognize the goodwill associated with a trademark and attempt to knock off an established trademark. These unscrupulous competitors seek to cash in on a trademark’s value without the hard work, or investment associated with building a trademark from scratch. Klein & Wilson‘s lawyers provide legal counsel for clients in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and the Inland Empire.
Trademark Infringement Litigation In California
Reputable companies with established trademarks suffer in a variety of ways when dishonest competitors try to capitalize on their trademarks. Among other damages, victims of trademark infringement can lose sales. Worse, a company’s goodwill can be diminished when consumers use a “knock off” product that is not equal in quality to a genuine product.
For example, when a customer buys a pirated product based upon an established trademark, believing it to have the qualities associated with that trademark, the customer can be disappointed when the product does not meet expectations. Such a customer may then shy away from other products associated with the trademark – even the ones that are properly branded.
For this reason, it is important for companies to defend their trademarks vigorously with an Orange County intellectual property lawyer. The leading companies in the world jealously guard their trademarks.
Determining Priority In A Trademark Dispute
Under the Federal Trademark Law, actual use of designation as a mark creates rights over others, not registration of the mark. Nevertheless, registration of a trademark has advantages and should be pursued by any trademark owner.
Copyrights and trademarks are different creatures under the law. Copyright law is generally associated with some original expression of ideas such as artwork, fashion and jewelry design, photography, sculpture, software, music and lyrics, screenplays, novels, books, etc. Trademark law deals with protecting symbols, for example, the Nike “swoosh,” words, devices, and sounds to identify a particular product, manufacturer, or service. Sometimes the law of copyright and trademark will protect a single product at the same time.
Rights Associated With Trademark Ownership
Generally, a trademark owner can prohibit others from using confusingly similar marks. In certain circumstances, a trademark owner can obtain an injunction, an order prohibiting further infringement, and an award for damages. In cases involving use of a counterfeit mark, the court can award treble damages. In certain cases, a court can award statutory damages of between $1,000 and $200,000 per counterfeit mark. The court also has the power to award attorneys’ fees.
When trademark issues arise, businesses need attorneys comfortable in front of judges and juries. Experienced attorneys recognize that winning in the courtroom is usually the product of thorough preparation and trial experience. Klein & Wilson is one of the leading trial law firms in Orange County.