The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines the concept of a trademark as “any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services.”
However, companies may incur trademark infringement without even knowing it, especially when registering a mark without a prior full trademark search. In this article, you will discover how to challenge a trademark infringement in Florida.
How to Know Whether Am I Infringing Someone Else’s Trademark or Not?
When someone files a trademark infringement lawsuit against a third party, it is necessary to prove the ownership of the mark, the mark’s priority, and that the other party’s mark is likely to cause confusion in the mind of consumers regarding the source of goods or services offered by the companies involved in the lawsuit.
In this context, the term “priority” refers to the seniority of a mark. This way, the plaintiff’s mark must be in use for a longer period than the defendant’s trademark. Also, it is vital to remember that trademark rights come from active use in business activities.
In case the person suing you owns a federally registered trademark, there are two legal presumptions you must rebut in court:
- The presumption of the validity and ownership of the plaintiff’s mark
- The plaintiff’s exclusive right to use that mark on or in connection with specific goods listed in USPTO’s registration
Trademark Infringement in Florida – Understanding the Court’s Viewpoint
Typically, a civil court will assess the evidence provided by both parties addressing different factors to determine whether or not a defendant incurred trademark infringement in Florida. Typically, the key factors include:
- The existence of a likelihood of confusion among consumers of both brands
- The degree of similarity between the marks involved in a lawsuit
- The way the parties’ products are advertised, marketed, and sold
- Where the parties’ products are advertised, marketed, and sold
- The purchasing conditions for both parties’ products
- The strength of the plaintiff’s mark
- The existence of evidence of actual confusion caused by the defendant’s mark
In such cases, the guidance of an expert trademark attorney in Florida is essential. A legal advisor will assess each case individually to determine the validity of a trademark infringement claim before proceeding with legal action.
How Do You Challenge a Trademark Infringement in Florida? – An Overview
When it comes to challenging a trademark infringement, there are four main options available. Although these are the most common ways to challenge a claim, make sure to consult with an expert trademark attorney to have your circumstances assessed.
If the mark is federally registered, it is possible to challenge the trademark by filing a petition to cancel the registration with USPTO’S Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
If the mark was not registered but is still going through the application process at the USPTO, it is possible to file an opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The deadline is 30 days after the application is published in the Official Gazette.
Also, it is possible to file a declaratory judgment lawsuit in Florida. In such a case, you will ask the court to declare your trademark does not infringe a third-party’s mark or that the allegedly infringed mark is not valid.
In case you are already responding to a trademark infringement lawsuit, it is fundamental to work with a Florida trademark attorney to advise you about the options available to challenge the claims in court.
We Can Help You to Challenge a Trademark Infringement – Work with Jurado and Farshchian, P.L.
As it is plain to see, challenging a trademark infringement is a complex and time-demanding task. Waste no time with uncertainty – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or send an email at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.