Trademark Infringement and Dilution
Trademark infringement occurs when a product uses a mark that is highly likely to cause confusion for consumers. To determine if a trademark has been infringed upon, a court usually considers how similar the goods are, if there is evidence of customers actually mistaking their purchase for another product, if products were marketed in the same way, how strong the trademark is, and if there was intent to copy the trademark.
Trademark dilution occurs when a product uses a trademarked name to sell a completely different type of product. For example, Apple is famously associated with computers and phones, but a separate company that sells beer as Apple brand beer could be weakening Apple computer’s brand, therefore committing dilution.
Types of Defense
There are two common types of defense used in trademark infringement and dilution cases:
1. Fair use – trademarks can be considered of fair use if the trademark is being used for a descriptive purpose and does not cause confusion with another brand. For example, while Apple is a famous brand name, if it is used to describe a product like apple pie, then trademark infringement has not occurred.
2. Parody – trademarks can be used in a parody legally if the trademark is not being used for another consumer product. This allows artists First Amendment protection when creating a work.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been accused of trademark infringement or dilution, you will likely need a strong defense. The trademark defense attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. have vast knowledge in intellectual property areas. To find out if and how they can help your particular case, call their Dallas and Plano serving office at (214) 317-4448.