Trademark FAQ: What Constitutes Trademark Infringement?

One of the greatest advantages to owning the rights to a particular trademark is that you can file a lawsuit for trademark infringement. All trademark infringement lawsuits ask one central question—Is it probable, under all of the circumstances, that consumers of the relevant goods will be confused?

More specifically, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good amounts to infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods.

In deciding whether consumers are likely to be confused, the courts will typically examine a number of factors, including:

  • The strength of the mark
  • The proximity of the goods
  • The similarity of the marks
  • Evidence of actual confusion
  • The similarity of marketing channels used
  • The degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser
  • The defendant’s intent

Of course, the weight of each of these factors will vary according to the circumstances of the case. In most cases, the primary consideration is the perception of the consumer.

How I Can Help

Of course, this post provides only a broad overview of trademark infringement. If believe your trademark has been infringed, it is advisable to consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney.

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