When you have worked hard to come up with a unique identity (design, word or phrase) that sets your brand, product or service apart, you need to protect it. These types of intellectual property are known as trademarks and they serve the primary role of distinguishing your products and services in the market.
To protect your brand, you need to register your trademark per the provisions of the Lanham Act. This protects your trademark from misuse or infringement. It also allows you to pursue damages in the event that someone misuses your registered trademark.
However, while taking steps to register your trademark reduces the risk of confusion, infringement is not uncommon. If someone infringes on your registered trademark, you may pursue a civil lawsuit against them. But how do you prove your trademark infringement case?
Building a case for trademark infringement
To successfully litigate your trademark infringement claim, however, you need to prove certain elements. Here are some of them:
That you have duly registered the trademark in question – You cannot protect what you do not own. Therefore, you must prove that the trademark in question belongs to you and that it is “protectable.”
That the other party’s use of your registered trademark caused or was likely to cause consumer confusion – Once you have proved ownership of the trademark, you must prove that the defendant’s use potentially caused confusion among your consumers and that this resulted in some form of loss.
Protecting your investment
An effective trademark can convey your brand’s message and values and ensure that you successfully connect your business with your target market. Therefore, if you learn that someone is infringing on your registered trademark, you need to act immediately to safeguard your investment.