Your customers recognize your product or service through your business’s name, logo, color combinations or any other unique symbol (trademark). These set your brand apart in the market.
Your trademark is linked to your company’s reputation. Therefore, if someone uses your trademark without your authorization, your brand image may be at risk. This may also lead to financial harm, as you may lose customers to the other company.
This guide discusses what to do to avoid these consequences:
Determine if infringement has occurred
You should visit the other business physically or their website to check if the particular symbol/name is identical to yours and can confuse your customers. If this is the case, and you have registered the trademark, the circumstances may amount to trademark infringement, especially if both companies are in the same industry and geographical area.
Send a cease-and-desist letter
After confirming that your case constitutes trademark infringement, you can send the other business a cease-and-desist letter demanding them to stop using your trademark.
Note that the other business may be unaware of your trademark – they may stop using it after receiving your notice. But if they ignore the warning, you can consider other options.
Use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods
You can effectively solve your trademark dispute using mediation or arbitration. An arbitrator can analyze the details of the case and reach a verdict. In mediation, a neutral third party can help you understand each other’s arguments.
If arbitration or mediation fails to work or you disagree with negotiating with the other party in the first place, you can proceed with litigation.
If another business uses your trademark without permission, you should consider legal guidance to protect your brand image.