Intellectual Property: Trademarks

Trademark law protects a business or brand owner from unfair competition and from the competing use of a brand which causes or is likely to cause confusion. The term Trademark generally extends to both goods and services. While the term trademark generally includes both services and goods, the term Service Mark is specific to services.

Trademark law is generally designed to protect brand owners and prevent unfair competition. Trademark law is based on the concept that brand owners are encouraged to build brand recognition. As a result of building a brand, the brand owners have the right to prevent competitors from diluting their brand or creating confusion to unfairly solicit customers. Trademark protection also includes the concept of priority. This means the first user of a brand has priority over a later user of the brand. When a senior trademark owner’s brand is impacted by a junior user, the senior trademark owner can stop the junior user of the brand, especially when the use is creating confusion in the marketplace.