Has someone infringed your trademark, or copyright?
If someone else is using a trademark for which you have developed brand loyalty among consumers, then you are losing revenue and you also risk the diminution in the value of your mark as long as the infringement continues. You have likely worked hard to build your reputation in the marketplace. While the registration of trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a good idea, it is not compulsory. Common law rights actually begin when a mark is first used in connection with the goods or services before the public. These trademark rights may be enforceable in local courts. If a competitor is using your mark, contact us to discuss your options.
Has someone copied your product design (and infringed your product’s trade dress)?
Even if your design isn’t patented, it may still be protectable. If another company is selling a product with the same visual appearance or packaging as your product, we may be able to enforce your rights under “trade dress” laws. If another’s product is causing confusion in the marketplace with your design, we may be able to help you stop the infringement of your design, or recover damages for the infringement. Generally, trade dress is protectable if it is not functional and is distinctive in the eyes of ordinary consumers. While trade dress constitutes the overall impression of a product or service, individual components of trade dress may include shapes, colors, sales techniques, and sometimes even sounds. Trade dress may be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but registration, while useful, is not necessary for enforcement.