Trademark and Service Mark infringement: Is it a Crime?
Well not a "crime" but in the criminal sense but‚ from a business standpoint‚ a violation of your business interests and the intellectual property that you have worked hard to develop. So if a competitor or start-up is stealing your intellectual property ("IP")‚ i.e.‚ adoptinging a trade name‚ logo or trade dress that is confusingly similar to yours‚ then you need to know that under Federal law you possess significant rights. Trademark and service mark infringement constitute a form of "unfair competition" and may entitle you to the recovery of legal damages that includes injunctive relief‚ lost profits and attorney fees. Below is a more detailed list.
Penalties for Trademark and Servicemark Infringement:
For such unfair business practices as trademark and service mark infringement‚ a variety of penalties are available. These penalties include:
- Payment of all profits made;
- Compensation for all damage lost by the original service mark holder;
- Costs of legal action;
- Possibly the attorney fees; and
- Injunctive relief.
Injunctive relief is a court order declaring that he who has infringed must cease infringing. Basically‚ the company guilty of infringement must immediately find a new‚ unique service mark.
By Charles Internicola June 25, 2010
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