Experienced California Attorneys Take Action Against Trademark Infringement
Skilled lawyers help businesses in the San Francisco area seek legal remedies
In a highly competitive marketplace, branding is key to the value of a product. If your company has an established trademark that represents and distinguishes your business or its products, it’s important to guard that intellectual property zealously. At King & Kelleher, LLP, we represent plaintiff companies throughout California in trademark infringement disputes. We have a thorough understanding of California and federal law, and we know how to protect your rights while building compelling cases. If you are engaged in a disagreement over a registered or unregistered trademark, our capable lawyers will pursue optimal results.
Knowledgeable California counselors advise business owners on trademark law
To qualify for legal protection, a trademark must be used in commerce and must be distinctive. There are four categories of distinctiveness:
- Arbitrary/fanciful — These marks bear no logical relationship to the underlying product but are inherently distinctive and, through their use in commerce, become indelibly associated with a particular company.
- Suggestive — These marks evoke or suggest a characteristic of the underlying product. As with arbitrary/fanciful marks, exclusive rights go to the first company to use them in commerce.
- Descriptive — These marks overtly describe a characteristic or quality of the product. To qualify for protection, the mark must acquire a secondary meaning through its use in commerce. The buying public must primarily associate the mark with a particular company rather than a class of products.
- Generic — Because generic marks refer to a general class of products, rather than those coming from a unique source, the law does not protect them. A mark can be judged generic when first proposed or may become generic over time and lose its legal protection.
A trademark need not be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have protection, but registered marks do offer advantages. Registration serves as constructive notice of ownership nationwide, and the ownership may be incontestable after five years of continuous use.
The attorneys at King & Kelleher, LLP will examine the details of your case and advise you on the strength of your trademark infringement claim.
Determined attorneys seek compensatory damages for trademark holders
Trademark infringement occurs when a company uses a mark that is similar enough to a protected trademark that the new mark is likely to cause confusion among the consuming public. In a successful trademark infringement lawsuit, the plaintiff company could receive remedies such as:
- Defendant’s profits — If the established brand does not show losses, it may still have been damaged by sales that went to the infringing brand.
- Damages sustained by the plaintiff — The court could order the infringing company to compensate for the plaintiff’s lost sales.
- Costs of the action — The defendant must pay for the plaintiff’s attorney fees and court costs.
- Injunctive relief — The court will order the infringing company to discontinue use of the offending trademark.
To protect your business and its brand, contact an experienced intellectual property attorney if your trademark has been infringed.
Contact a dependable California trademark litigation attorney
King & Kelleher, LLP provides quality legal representation to plaintiff companies in trademark disputes. To schedule a consultation, call our San Francisco office at 415-781-2888 or contact us online.