Trademark infringement occurs when there is already a validly owned trademark, and another party comes along and adopts a similar or identical trademark that will lead or likely cause confusion about the source of the goods or services of that trademark. Among the factors that the court will look at are: the similarity of the trademarks; the similarity of the goods or services the trademark represents; the relationship between the channels of trade of the registered trademark and the “infringing” trademark; and the degree of care that is typically taken for prospective purchasers of the goods or services of the trademarks.
Typical Infringement Claims
Trademark Protection in the U.S. is based upon a combination of federal, state, and common law. The Lanham Act is the primary federal law adopted by Congress to protect trademarks. In most situations, the federal, state and common laws all intertwine in a single infringement case. However, if a conflict arises between federal and state law, the federal law will win out. The typical infringement case will contain the following claims: