How to deal with Dilution of trademarks?
How to deal with Dilution of trademarks?
Under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995, famous trademarks were given more rights. A trademark dilution does not mean an infringement. A dilution occurs when another company uses a renowned trademark to sell products in a different category. For instance, a beverage company’s trademark is used by a hair care company is considered dilution. However, in most cases, the company whose trademark is diluted has to prove that it is famous. Here are a few tips that we at www.pandapatent.com would advise you to take if you feel you have been offended.
Register the Trademark
For you to be able to deal with trademark dilution, you first need to ensure that your trademark is legally registered. It will mean you have to register the mark with the USPTO database. It will cost a small amount of money, but it will be worth it if you are serious about protecting your trademark. It is usually enough to scare off most potential copycats who may want to dilute your mark. It could save you a lot of money in legal suits as you try to pursue diluters of your brand.
Have a Monitoring System in Place
About once every three months, conduct a serious search on search engines and the USPTO website. Ensure you visit all the major search engine sites to try to find diluters. If you do see anyone who has diluted your brand, you can be able to take some action. It is also possible to set up Google Alert or a similar service. The best thing about these services is that they are free. It will allow the search to conduct automated searches for you and inform you in case of any new updates.
If you do not act fast enough as soon as you find dilution, the other part could deem this to implied consent. Besides that, the more time and money that a person invest in a trademark, the less willing they will likely be to let go of it. They will thus put an intense fight to defend themselves. In turn, this will mean that also have to spend more time and money to fight them. Acting fast will save you time and money. At the end of it all, the other party may end up winning, and you may have spent a lot of money.
Do not be Too Aggressive
If someone is in a different market or industry that is far removed from what you, it is not always worth going after him or her. In some cases, a simple warning letter will suffice. The chances are that if the person has not invested too much time and money in the trademark, they will willingly change it. After all, no entrepreneur wants unnecessary legal fights that are expensive. In some cases, the business you are pursuing may have made a genuine mistake. It could happen that they hired a third party who decided to use your trademark without the knowledge of the small company. You could also just choose to monitor the other brand to ensure that it does not turn into a dilution.
Let Reason Guide You
Litigation can be quite costly, and it could waste a lot of your time. In some cases, what you had thought would be a short legal battle could end up taking months or years in court. In such an instance, the few dollars you collect in court will not be worth the wasted potential you have lost fighting in court. However, if you decide to be reasonable and settle out of court, it might save you. It will prove useful for your brand, and it will save everyone time and money. In some instance, you may even have to pay the offending party a few dollars to keep them away from your trademark.
Think about the Consequences of a Legal Suit
Before you do anything, you must always ensure that you are not making a mistake. In some cases, it may turn out that the trademark you claim to be yours was already in use without your knowledge. It might be a convergence of ideas, but you are the one apparently in the wrong. Besides that, if you are too harsh, the other party may decide to go to press with it. They may also choose to post it only and claim you are oppressing them with your big pockets. It will lead to bad publicity and could have a negative impact on your brand.
Always Tal to a Lawyer
The issue of trademark dilution is complex. Get it right the first time, to save your business a lot of time and money. If you lose the initial dilution lawsuit, it could affect your ability to protect your trademark in future. It will only encourage others to dilute your brand. However, if you utilize the services of a competent attorney, it shows the recipient that you are serious about your intentions. Thus, ensure you have a lawyer on your side if you decide to fight trademark dilution.