How Can I Sue for Illegal Use of My Trademark in Florida?
In the modern era, intellectual property has a significant influence on brands’ reputation and sales. Trademarks are one of the elements of intellectual property that make a brand distinguishable from the competition.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see other individuals or companies using your trademark illegally. When this happens, you need to understand your rights as a trademark owner. Speak with our Bradenton business litigation attorney at Suncoast Civil Law to determine how you can sue a competitor or third party for unauthorized use of your trademark.
Do you have grounds to sue for the illegal use of a trademark?
Trademarks are an important piece of intellectual property for any brand and company because it distinguishes them from their competitors. Also, a brand’s trademark is immediately recognizable to consumers.
While businesses are generally not required to register a trademark, having official registration is beneficial because it gives you the exclusive right to use it and sue competitors for using your trademark illegally.
With or without official trademark registration, you may have grounds to sue a competitor or a third party for unauthorized use of your trademark or other intellectual property.
Can you file a trademark infringement lawsuit?
Competitors may use your trademark illegally for multiple reasons, the most common of which are:
- To increase their own sales by associating its products and services with your brand; and
- To harm your reputation and business.
In legalese, illegal use of a trademark is known as “trademark infringement.” Under state and federal business litigation law, a company can sue a competitor or a third party for using their trademark without authorization or permission to protect their rights and recover damages.
If you prevail in your trademark infringement lawsuit against the infringing party, the court will prevent the defendant from using your mark in the future.
You may also be able to recover financial compensation from the infringing party for the illegal use of your trademark. It is advised to consult with a business litigation lawyer in Florida to determine whether you are entitled to damages.
You can sue for illegal use of your trademark under the Lanham Act
The vast majority of trademark infringement lawsuits filed in Florida fall under the jurisdiction of federal law. Particularly, you may be able to sue the infringing party under the federal Lanham Act.
However, when pursuing a trademark infringement lawsuit under the federal law, you must show proof of the following:
- Your trademark is registrable and legally protectable;
- You own the trademark in question; and
- The infringing party’s illegal use of your trademark could potentially confuse consumers.
While the Lanham Act does not impose specific time limits for bringing a trademark infringement lawsuit, you could be barred from suing the infringing party for the unauthorized use of your trademark if it would be unfair and unreasonable to litigate your case because a considerable amount of time has passed since the date of the alleged infringement.
It is in your best interests to consult with a knowledgeable business litigation lawyer to determine whether you can sue a competitor or a third party for the illegal use of your trademark. You can schedule a case evaluation with our attorneys at Suncoast Civil Law to discuss your unique case. Call 941-366-1800.