Fort Lauderdale Trademark Litigation Lawyer
As a trademark holder, vigorously monitoring the marketplace and taking aggressive action against infringers and counterfeiters are essential to protecting the integrity of your brand. At Perkins Law, our Fort Lauderdale trademark litigation lawyer understands the importance of protecting your trademark and taking active steps to prevent or stop infringement, dilution, counterfeits or other attacks on your brand. For aggressive action in the face of an existing threat to your trademark in Fort Lauderdale, call Perkins Law for immediate assistance.
How Can You Prevent or Stop Trademark Infringement?
Sometimes a phone call or e-mail may be sufficient to stop the infringing activity. Other times, a more formal cease and desist letter may be called for. Still other times, immediate and direct court involvement is necessary. If potential infringement is suspected or threatened, a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order may be sought. Obtaining an injunction or TRO is not a simple matter, and you must be prepared to show a likelihood of success on an infringement action at trial before a judge will restrain another entity from engaging in commerce or commercial activity.
If an infringement has already occurred, it can often be redressed by seeking money damages along with an injunction to prevent further infringement. Money damages can include compensation for the actual harm which has been done as well as forcing the infringer to disgorge any profits they obtained through their infringing activity. An experienced Fort Lauderdale trademark litigation attorney at Perkins Law will counsel you on your options and the best strategy in your particular case.
What Is Contributory Infringement?
Sometimes a person can be liable for infringement by aiding infringement without directly engaging in infringing activities. This activity is commonly known as contributory infringement or secondary liability. While a common feature of patent litigation, U.S. trademark law does not expressly include contributory infringement in its statutes. However, the United States Supreme Court has recognized the possibility of secondary liability in a trademark case. For instance, intentionally supplying a product to someone the manufacturer or distributor knows is infringing on a trademark may be sufficient for a claim of contributory infringement against the supplier of goods.
How Can You Stop Someone From Selling Counterfeit Goods?
When unscrupulous parties trade in illegal counterfeit goods, part of their scheme will include counterfeiting the trademark as well as the good itself. According to U.S. trademark law (the Lanham Act), a counterfeit mark includes a counterfeit of a registered mark that is registered in the Principal Register and is in use, regardless of whether the counterfeiter knew the mark was registered. A counterfeit is also defined as a spurious designation that is identical with or substantially indistinguishable from a protected designation. Counterfeiting is the act of making or selling lookalike goods or services bearing fake trademarks.
The Lanham Act prohibits the import, export and sale of counterfeit goods and makes it illegal to intentionally use a mark or designation knowing it is counterfeit in connection with the sale or distribution of goods or services. It is also illegal to provide counterfeit goods or services with the intent that the recipient would sell or distribute them. In addition, a third party could be liable for activities that amount to contributory infringement, such as by hosting a website that is selling fake goods or renting space to a booth or stall in a marketplace that is selling counterfeits.
As with other forms of trademark infringement, a preliminary step to halt counterfeiting may be to send a cease and desist letter informing the counterfeiter of their illegal activity and the consequences that could result from further infringing activity. If a cease and desist letter is ineffective or inappropriate to the circumstances, litigation might be the preferred course of action.
The Lanham Act treats counterfeiting much more harshly than other forms of trademark infringement. A counterfeiter can be assessed the greater of treble damages (triple the harm to the trademark holder or treble profits (triple the profits made by the counterfeiter) plus an award of reasonable attorney’s fees.
You may also elect to receive statutory damages instead of having to prove actual damages. The amount of statutory damages is within the discretion of the court, but they can range from $1,000 to $200,000 per counterfeit mark per type of good or service. If the court finds that the use of the counterfeit mark was willful (and willful use is presumed in many situations), then statutory damages can go as high as two million dollars per counterfeit mark.
Help With Trademark Litigation in Fort Lauderdale
Perkins Law can help you aggressively pursue infringing activity through appropriate trademark litigation. It is possible to be accused of counterfeiting when you did not know about the existence of a similar mark, or there may be a legitimate dispute over who first used or registered a trademark. These are complicated cases that require the help of knowledgeable, skilled and experienced brand protection attorneys.
For help with a potential case of trademark infringement in Fort Lauderdale, including advice and representation in any trademark litigation, call Perkins Law at 561-467-4001 to review your situation with a diligent and successful Fort Lauderdale trademark litigation lawyer.