A trademark infringement defense is a legal case brought by a defendant to prove they did not infringe on someone else’s trademark. Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on goods that compete or are related. The most common defenses in trademark infringement, unfair compensation, and trademark dilution suits include descriptive fair use, nominative fair use, laches, unclean hands and trademark misuse, fraud in obtaining the registration, and application of the First Amendment

A trademark is a word, symbol, or a phrase, used to identify a manufacturer or seller’s products and distinguish them from the products of another. Under some circumstances, trademark protection can extend beyond words, symbols, and phrases to include other aspects of a product, such as its color or its packaging. Trademarks make it easier for consumers to quickly identify the source of a given good. 

Trademarks are governed by both state and federal law. Federal Law provides the main, most extensive, source of trademark protection, although state common law actions are still available. 

A trademark can be acquired by one of two ways, being the first to use the mark in commerce, or by being the first to register the mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

If a party owns the rights to a trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. Competent legal counsel can greatly assist in searching for existing trademarks, registering a trademark, or helping a party assert or defend itself against a claim for trademark infringement, unfair competition or trademarking dilution. Experienced counsel can help you navigate the realm of trademark law and ensure you make the best decisions for your business. 

Do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Tishkoff if you have questions regarding litigation, or business or employment law. The attorneys at the Tishkoff, located in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, may be reached by phone or email.