Is there an alternative to litigation if my trade mark has been infringed?
When you discover another party is infringing your trade mark that you have spent a lot of time or money to create and develop, it can be heart-breaking.
However, it is extremely important that you take action to protect your brand otherwise the effort you have put in to create it will be a waste.
The most common action to take is to start court proceedings. This can be an extremely costly process in regards to both time and money.
In addition, you have the risk of falling foul of existing unjustified threats legislation if it found that any threat made to the other party in relation to starting litigation proceedings should not have been made.
Therefore, alternative means of settling the dispute will be favourable.
In addition to the cost and time savings, if the matter does further to court after an attempt to solve through an alternative method, the court will look favourably at your attempt to settle before court and any refusal to use an alternative method is not received well.
A good method of alternative dispute resolution, especially in relation to Intellectual Property and trade marks is mediation.
Through mediation, an independent third party will consider the dispute and through communication with both side try to bring you both to a solution. They cannot offer suggestions but is there to enable you both to compromise.
The mediation process is completely confidential therefore your business reputation cannot be harmed with public exposure.
If you are positive about starting the mediation process, it is essential that you appoint the right mediator who has the knowledge to understand the dispute.
There are many mediation networks throughout the country, but we recommend the UK Intellectual Property Office’s own mediation service. Using this service will ensure that you receive a good quality mediator who will have the required knowledge to aid the coming together of the parties to a solution.
For more information please visit the UK IPO website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/intellectual-property-mediation or contact The Trademarkroom.
By Ellis Sweetenham