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When considering if trademark infringement has occurred, the key question under U.S. trademark law is whether an ordinary consumer is likely to be confused between the trademarks in question. If the junior trademark is confusingly similar, the senior trademark owner can ask the subsequent user to stop using it.
The likelihood of confusion determination is made based on several factors, including:
- The strength of the trademark
- The similarity between the goods and services
- The similarity of the trademarks
- Evidence of actual confusion
- The similarity between the marketing channels the businesses use
- The degree of care exercised by the ordinary purchaser
- The defendant’s intent in choosing the trademark; and
- The likelihood of expansion in the product lines.
States have specific requirements for trademark registration. Domestic trademark infringement often occurs when an incomplete trademark review or search fails to uncover an existing trademark in another state. Litigation may be necessary when disputes arise regarding the markets involved, allegations claiming trademark abandonment, or similarity in design. Adding to these difficulties is the Lanham Act and how certain trademark rights are construed under it. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to sort through what can be complicated, technical issues and ensure your trademark rights are enforced.
At the Law Offices of James S. Hong and Associates, our lawyers and legal staff provide quality services at reasonable rates. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your trademark infringement issues, and to explain how we can help you protect your ideas and inventions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team.
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