Trademark Law

The Law Office of Matthew A. Becker has filed and registered numerous trademarks. Additionally, the firm represents clients concerning trademark infringement, as well as other related trademark matters.

Trademark law is an essential tool for any business involved with the sale of goods or services. In general, federal trademark law grants protection to two separate features of a product, trademarks and trade dress. A trademark is defined as any word, name, symbol or device used to identify goods or services and distinguish them from those produced or sold by others. Examples of symbols include the Nike Aswoosh or Adidas three stripes.

Trade dress, however, protects a product’s overall appearance, including size, shape, color or color combinations, texture, graphics, or even particular sales techniques. Moreover, trade dress protects both product design, as well as product packaging. Product design includes such items as the bottle design of a Coca Cola. The décor of a restaurant, for example, may even qualify as product packaging, which is protected as a trade dress.

An individual or entity may register a trademark following a demonstration of distinctiveness and use in commerce. In fact, trademark applications can be initiated when an individual possesses a mere intention to use the mark commerce. A mark may be deemed to be distinctive if it is either inherently distinctive, or has acquired distinctiveness over time (secondary meaning.)

Registration of a mark affords the trademark owner certain advantages, including a presumption of the validity of the mark and use of the trademark filing date for foreign trademark applications. Once deemed to be a valid trademark, trademark laws prohibits the use of a similar mark on any goods or services that are likely to cause confusion or deceive consumers as to the source of the product.

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Trademark/Trade Dress Infringement

  1. Non-Functionality of the Product’s Design
  2. Distinctiveness of the Mark/Dress
  3. Likelihood of Confusion

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Infringement Damages

  1. Money Damages
    * This includes the defendant’s profits, loss in plaintiff’s revenue, and attorney’s fees.
  2. Injunction
    * This prohibits the defendant’s from using the infringing mark or dress.
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