03. Trademark Enforcement
Cease and Desist Letters
A cease-and-desist letter is a legal document that informs an individual or company that they are engaged in activities that are infringing on the rights of another person or company, such as using a trademark without permission. It requests that the infringing activity stop immediately, or legal action may be taken. Cease-and-desist letters are important for trademark matters because they can be used to quickly and efficiently stop trademark infringement before it causes significant damage to the trademark holder's rights and reputation. Additionally, it can help prevent costly legal action.
A well-drafted cease-and-desist letter will identify the rightsholder, their rights, the infringing activity, and the likely consequences should the infringement continue. The letter can be used as in important evidentiary tool in litigation to show that the infringer had notice of the infringing activity and then continued their infringing acts. Our firm would be happy to assess your situation and draft and send a cease-and-desist letter to an infringing party.
A TTAB Proceeding is a legal proceeding before the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) (USPTO). The TTAB hears and decides certain types of trademark disputes, such as opposition proceedings (in which one party objects to the registration of a trademark) and cancellation proceedings (where one party seeks to cancel an existing trademark registration). TTAB proceedings are less formal and less expensive than federal court litigation, and they provide a faster resolution to trademark disputes. The TTAB's decision can be challenged in federal court.
We represent clients in TTAB proceedings for both opposition and cancellation matters, in both the plaintiff and defendant roles.
Trademark litigation is a legal action taken in a court of law to resolve trademark disputes. This can include disagreements between two or more parties about the use or registration of a trademark, as well as disagreements about infringement (using a mark without permission), dilution (using a mark in a way that diminishes its distinctiveness), and unfair competition. Depending on the nature of the dispute and the parties involved, trademark litigation can be filed in either state or federal court. It is typically a more formal and costly process than TTAB proceedings, and it can be time-consuming. The outcome of trademark litigation can include a court order ordering the infringing party to stop using the trademark, as well as monetary damages or, in some cases, criminal penalties.
Damages for trademark infringement are the monetary awards made to the owner of the trademark following a successful trademark infringement lawsuit. In a trademark infringement case, several types of damages may be awarded, including:
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the trademark owner for any actual financial losses incurred as a result of the infringement.
Consequential damages are intended to compensate the trademark holder for any direct losses caused by the infringement, such as lost profits.
Statutory damages: These are statutory damages that are awarded to the trademark holder regardless of actual damages suffered.
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory and consequential damages to punish the infringing party and deter future infringement.
Injunctions: A court order that prohibits the infringing party from using the infringing mark and may also require the infringing party to recall and destroy any infringing materials.
It is important to note that the amount of damages that can be awarded will be determined by the facts of the case as well as the laws of the jurisdiction where the case is heard.
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Our firm engages clients at every stage of the enforcement process. Whether you need a cease-and-desist to stave off an infringer, representation in a TTAB proceeding to oppose or cancel a mark (or need defense therefrom), or are ready to engage in litigation to stop an infringer, we are ready to discuss your case.