Your trademark is a registered image or symbol that effectively represents your business in place of the company’s name. When consumers see your trademark, they immediately think of your brand. They know they can purchase a product, even if they are at a store they have never visited and don’t particularly trust, because they know your company puts out quality products.
Registering your company’s trademark allow you to create attractive and effective signage around your business, design better packaging and promote overall improved brand awareness. Of course, the association between your brand and a trademark also provides an opportunity for fraudulent businesses to take advantage of your hard work.
Those that want to infringe on your market share and steal your customer base may release products that look nearly identical to yours and may even feature your trademark or an image similar to your trademark. When bringing a claim against the business impersonating your company, you will often need to demonstrate the likelihood of confusion.
What is the likelihood of confusion?
As you may be able to infer from the name, the likelihood of confusion refers to the possibility of consumers believing that this cut-rate imposter product is from your company. While you, an executive or owner, can easily tell the difference, the standard relates to the perception of the typical consumer.
Side-by-side comparisons of your packaging and theirs which shows the use of a logo very similar to your company’s trademarked logo could help bolster your claims. So could records of refund requests and complaints made by consumers that have purchased products they believe came from your company but in fact did not.
If you can establish the likelihood of confusion, then you have a good case for holding the other business accountable for its practices.
You can stop imposter products and seek damages
Those attempting to enforce their trademarks have multiple options. They can take the other party to court, where a judge could order the other party to see producing items that will confuse the public. Judges also have the authority to award businesses damages for lost sales and how counterfeit products or those that confused members of the public may have damaged the company’s reputation.
Enforcing your trademark rights will help you maintain your market news and protect your brand from the unethical conduct of others.