"Geez, that logo looks a lot like ours," you say to yourself while browsing a catalog.
If you think that someone’s infringing (using, appropriating, or hijacking) your trademark, patent, or copyright, you should contact us immediately to examine your options for stopping this illegal activity which can severely damage your business.
We will meet with you to look at the facts surrounding the matter to see if your intellectual property rights have, in fact, been infringed upon. We know that the legal standards for trademark, copyright, and patent infringement are distinctly different and will apply the facts of your situation to the relevant IP law.
If we determine that your IP has been infringed upon, we will lay out the options you have to address the issue. Usually, the initial action to stop infringement is to send the infringing party a cease and desist letter. A cease and desist letter lets the person or business that’s infringing on your intellectual property know that their actions are wrong and demands that they immediately stop that activity. This may mean getting rid of the logo that’s too similar to yours on all of their marketing materials.
A cease and desist letter will identify your relevant copyright, patent, or trademark registration to the infringing party, and we will also provide the person or business with examples of the infringing conduct. We will tell the infringing party that your intellectual property is protected by federal law. In many cases, a cease and desist letter will be sufficient to get the infringing party to, in fact, "cease and desist."
If it doesn’t do the job, we will look at next steps that are both cost-effective and effective.
To learn more, read our article entitled, "What Exactly Is Intellectual Property? And How Do I Protect It?," for an introduction to IP protection for business owners.
IP rights are only valuable if you protect them. Be sure to stay vigilant.
Francine E. Love is the Founder & Managing Attorney at LOVE LAW FIRM PLLC which dedicates its practice to serving entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. The opinions expressed are those of the author. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.