So you caught someone ripping off your brand.
What should you do?
Learn more in this video!
First of all, you need to understand whether indeed that somebody else is infringing on your mark. Are the trademarks the same? Are the products and services that you offer and they offer the same? Are the countries the same? Are the geographical areas where you have protection for your trademark and where they are using your trademark the same? Because if the answer to any of those is no, they're just two completely separate things, then just because somebody is using the same name for a totally different product or in a totally different country usually means they're not infringing on your mark. So just because somebody is using something similar is not enough. You need to really understand whether you have legal rights to go after them.
So, typically, what you want to do is you want to show or share that finding of that other brand with a lawyer or a trademark agent who would understand and be able to provide you a legal analysis of whether indeed there is a likelihood of confusion between the two brands.
And if the answer to that is no, then, basically you have two options. You can always write a letter and say, we don't like it that you're using our brand. And maybe the other side is not going to want to fight with you—even if you don't have legal footing and they are just going to give it up, there is always a chance for that. But usually what's going to happen is, they're going to say, no, we don't think you have any legal ground, so they're just gonna ignore you.
Or, if you find that indeed there is an infringement, you would need to—what you would usually do is, you would write them a demand letter, stating why you think they're infringing and telling them exactly what you want them to do and providing some guidance as to what you're going do to them if they don't do what you want them to do. That's the general structure of all demand letters. You say who you are, what you own, you tell them that you found them, you tell them what you caught them doing something they shouldn't be doing, you explain what the wrongdoing is all about, you tell them, this is what I want you to do: I want you to stop using the brand, I want you to give me your domain name, I want you to destroy the products and services that carry the brand, whatever it is that you want them to do, transfer a Twitter account, close down the Facebook page, there are a lot of things you can do, depending on what they're doing with your brand. So, you list all those things, and then you tell them if we don't hear from you in the next X days, usually 2-3 weeks, then we're gonna do this, this, this and this to you, and usually it means, we are going to take you to court and you're gonna lose, because that's what the law says.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.