Trade mark infringement is the unauthorised use of a registered trade mark by a third party.
The law on trade mark infringement in the UK is provided by the Trade Marks Act 1994 (TMA). Section 10 of the TMA sets out a range of offences related to the infringement of a trade mark, namely:
- The mark used by the infringer is identical to the owners registered trade mark and is used in relation to goods and/or services that are identical to those published on the trade marks register.
- The mark used by the infringer is identical or similar to the owners registered trade mark and is used in relation to goods and/or services which are identical or similar to those published on the trade marks register.
- The mark used by the infringer is identical, similar or even dissimilar to the owners registered trade mark which has a reputation, and through its use, has caused detrimental damage to the trade mark.
In order to infringe a registered trade mark with relation to the grounds above, the alleged infringer must, in the course of trade:
- Affixed the infringed mark to their goods or their packaging
- Offered a service or product for sale under the name/logo of the infringed mark
- Used the infringed mark for marketing, advertising or any type of promotion
- Import and/or export goods under the name/logo of the registered mark
Infringing a registered trade mark could find you in hot water. Litigation, damages and legal fees can be costly and as a result, effect your business endeavors.
To protect yourself from infringing, it is recommended that you conduct prior registry searches. A trade mark search is available in a number of different forms and will give you indication as to whether anything identical or highly similar already exists on the register. You can carry out a search independtley or have the experts here at the Trademarkroom do this for you.
If you are concerned that your trade mark is being used without your consent or have any questions relating to trade marks, contact the Trademarkroom today where we would be happy to assist you!