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The Test for Infringement
The test that the Courts apply in deciding whether or not there has been an infringement of a trade mark involves an examination of the registered trade mark and a comparison with the sign, symbol or logo used on the goods that are said to infringe. In particular, the Court will usually focus on whether there is any likelihood of confusion on the part of the consumer as to the source of origin of the goods.
Defending a Claim for Trade Mark Infringement
If your company is sued for trade mark infringement there may be various defences that can be put forward. You may wish to argue that you do not infringe, because there is no risk of consumer confusion (see above). Alternatively, you may wish to argue that you have a right to use the sign or symbol because you had already been using it before the claimant’s trade mark was registered (see Prior Rights, below). As afurther option, you may wish to have the claimant’s registered trade mark declared invalid or revoked by the Court (see Revocation of a Trade Mark, below).
Download a copy of our brochure on Trade Mark Litigation.
Revocation of a Trade Mark
Sometimes, you may wish to have a trade mark that has been registered by a competitor declared invalid or revoked. We can assist in the legal process for removing trade marks from the register by preparing the evidence and the court papers.
Prior Rights
It is important to establish who has the prior right to use a trade mark. We have extensive experience of collecting and drafting the evidence in order to establish prior rights
Unregistered Trade Mark Rights and Passing Off
If a sign or a logo has not been registered as a trade mark, it may still be possible to bring a legal claim against a third party to prevent them from using that sign or logo. We also act in cases where a company is trading off another company's reputation (for example, by suggesting that it is authorised or endorsed by a company when it is not). Legal claims of this kind are called 'passing off' actions. For further information about bringing a claim for passing off, please contact us.
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