Recognizing Infringement of Your Mark and What to do About it

Introduction

Rayan F. Coutinho, Ph.D.This is the last in the series of articles on trademarks. In this article, we will look at trademark infringement, how to recognize it, and how to enforce your rights. The general principles for recognizing infringement are the same regardless of whether the mark is registered or not and regardless of whether the registration is federal or state. Courts around the country use a standard called “likelihood of confusion” to determine whether one mark is infringing upon another mark. Basically, a trademark owner is permitted to enforce his or her trademark rights against any other person who is using the same or similar mark in a manner that is “likely to cause confusion” among consumers as to the source of origin of the mark. So, it is important to remember, that actual confusion is not required; it is only a factor in determining whether there is infringement.

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