Trademark Infringement on the Internet: What to do?

traverselegal - August 5, 2013 - Trademark Law

We get a lot of questions on trademark issues and most of them deal with internet-based trademark infringement or online trademark infringement claims. When someone uses your trademark or service mark on the Internet, you potentially will lose more than just customers. You’ll lose revenue, profits, and have your website traffic diverted to someone else’s website. As importantly, you need to understand that a failure to protect your trademark may result in voiding your mark altogether. A good internet and technology lawyer will be able to help you understand your options when facing an unauthorized use of your trademark on a website, blog, e-commerce platform, online sales platform, Facebook, Twitter or other online media. Trademark infringement is serious business. Trademark infringement on the Internet needs to be dealt with early, before you lose your trademark rights

The other thing that you need to understand about trademark law is that much more than the literal elements of the mark are protected. Trademark law protects any unauthorized trademark use which is likely to cause consumer confusion about the source and origin of goods.  As a trademark lawyer, I often find myself explaining to clients that just because a literal word doesn’t come back on a Google search, doesn’t mean that you won’t be infringing someone else’s trademark if you choose it. You have to search for variations and equivalents of the word in order to see if anything is similar. If it is similar, you need to ask yourself whether or not your trademark is going to be used in a distinct area of goods or services from someone else’s trademark use. There is a Delta Airlines. There is also a Delta Faucet. They do coexist. But there will never be another faucet company incorporating a similar word to the “Delta.” And there won’t be another airline which uses a similar word to the word “Delta.” And the logos of both companies are fully protected against any trademark infringement which might cause consumer confusion. Speak to a competent trademark attorney who specializes in Internet Law today to better understand your rights.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.