- A combination of words and symbols
The purpose of a trademark is to help consumers distinguish products and to help trace a product to a particular manufacturer. As such, the trademark is an important part of product marketing, as a consumer may be expecting certain standards from a particular brand.
What Is Trademark Counterfeiting?
Only one person, company, or legal entity can hold a trademark. The trademark is obtained legally by filing an application with the U.S. Trademark Office. This involves a thorough process that requires proof of the company’s association with the proposed trademark logo.
Trademark counterfeiting occurs when another party uses a trademark without the owner’s permission. This can happen for instance if a clothing company uses or reproduces another company’s logo on their products without their consent. Many fake or rip-off items use this technique, but it is illegal and can come with heavy legal penalties.
What Are the Legal Penalties for Violating Trademark Laws?
Violations of trademark laws can result in penalties such as:
- Civil damages for losses caused by the trademark use
- Criminal charges under state and federal law
- Confiscation of unauthorized products
- Various other business consequences
Some defenses may be raised in trademark infringement cases. For instance, it may be a defense if the defendant can show that they actually had legal permission to use the trademark.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Trademark Legal Issues?
Trademark laws are very comprehensive and can often involve federal laws and statutes. You may wish to hire an intellectual property lawyer if you have a legal claim or any questions regarding trademark laws. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation on the matter. If you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can also represent you and guide you through the litigation process.
A trademark is a visual representation that identifies a product with a particular manufacturer or producer. It is usually located on the packaging of the product and may include: