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Trademark Infringement Lawyers

 

Have you been accused of infringing a competitor’s trademark or do you think that someone may be using your trademark without consent?  What can you do if you find yourself accused of online copyright infringement, or if someone uses your trademark without permission?

Trademark infringement is governed by the Trade Marks Act 1994 which can be a difficult piece of legislation to navigate without help.  You should seek specialist legal advice as soon as you become aware that you may be involved in a prospective claim for both offline and online trademark infringement. 

This will arm you with a better of understanding of what may or may not constitute infringement and the merits of any prospective claim/defence.

If you have been accused of trademark infringement, you may want to seek legal advice as soon as possible from our trademark infringement lawyers because, if there may be a viable claim against you, then you will need to know whether to stop acting in a manner which constitutes infringement.  Carrying on regardless could count against you further down the line.  You should preserve any records that relate to the ‘infringing’ items (e.g. sales records, purchase receipts and stock records). 

If you believe that someone else is infringing your trademark then you will need to consider what, if any, action you are going to take and do so without unnecessary delay.  Often the first stage will be corresponding with the alleged infringer to ask them to agree to stop what they are doing and to mitigate any loss that you may be experiencing as a result of their actions.  You should also be careful to avoid making any ‘groundless threats’ without taking proper advice; section 129 of the Act allows a recipient of such a threat to seek redress from you.  

The remedies for an infringement of a registered trademark include damages, an account for profits, and injunctive relief.  Delivery up/destruction of the infringing goods may also be requested if appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

What if the trademark is not registered?

'Passing Off' is a common law right that can be pursued if there is no registration of the relevant trademark or where there is uncertainty about the prospect of success in a traditional trademark infringement claim.  This action is aimed at preventing someone from unfairly benefitting from the ‘goodwill’ that has been established in an unregistered mark or brand. 

The guidelines for demonstrating a cause of action in passing off were refined in the case of Reckitt & Colman Products Ltd v Borden Inc [1990] 1 All ER 873.  In essence, there will need to be goodwill present in the mark that has allegedly been infringed, that the infringer has made a misrepresentation and that there is, therefore, damage/likely damage caused to that existing goodwill.
 
Overlap with criminal law

The Trade Marks Act 1994 also contains criminal sanctions for trademark infringement and related offences.  These can be pursued either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court and prosecutions under the Act will often be initiated by Trading Standards after a site visit. 

How can our trademark infringement lawyers help? 

We have an experienced litigation team who are able to give detailed advice on both civil and criminal issues relating to trademark infringement.

We offer fixed-fee preliminary consultations.  A consultation will help you understand the legal and practical issues relating to your case and allow you to make an informed decision about what action to take. 

To arrange a preliminary consultation or to find out how we can support you, please send us an emailcomplete our online enquiry form or call us on 020 7183 8950.