All businesses engage in some type of marketing. Marketing often comes in the form of advertising: in newspapers, on television, on a website, on the side of a bus or billboard, etc. However, sometimes the marketing is as simple as placing the businesses name or logo on the goods they are selling.
Purchasing decisions are often made based on the reputations associated with the name or logo (the brand) of a product. If a customer likes a product they may remember its brand and seek it out. On the other hand, if a customer doesn’t like a product, they may refrain from purchasing it again.
This shows that trademarks can really help, or hurt, a business. A business with a reputation of providing quality products will want to mark all its products with its name and logo so that quality and other marketing efforts can be recognized by the consumer.
Infringing on the Trademark of Another May Damage Your Own Business
Whether intentional or unintentional, trademark infringement may have devastating consequences. You may be forced to stop using a trademark after putting a great amount of time, money and effort into it.
Even if you are innocently infringing, you will be forced to stop future infringements. Additionally, there may be great cost in legal fees, etc., in establishing your use of the mark was innocent and without knowledge of someone else’s trademark.
A successful plaintiff in a trademark infringement case may recover the defendant infringer’s profits resulting from the infringement.
The plaintiff may also recover any actual damages if the plaintiff is able to prove that the damages were caused by the defendant’s use of the infringing mark and that consumers were actually confused or deceived by the use. These actual damages may include profits lost, injury to goodwill or business reputation, expenses incurred by the plaintiff in attempting to prevent customers from being deceived by the defendant, and the cost the plaintiff incurs for any corrective advertising to correct confusion or harm to goodwill.
Conduct a Trademark Search Before Choosing Your Mark
This all said, conducting trademark searches is very important before establishing the mark of your business on your products or services. Meet with an attorney to discuss conducting a trademark search on your good or service.