iLaw – we make sure your brand is protected.
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Key benefits of our service:
- We focus on protecting and maximising the value of your brand in the most cost efficient and effective way possible.
- We have over 20 years’ of experience providing expert legal advice on trade marks.
- Our clients include large companies; but also small to medium businesses.
- Being part of an international alliance gives us a global reach when it comes to enforcing trade marks.
- We can advise you on your trade mark dispute wherever you are located and same day appointments are available on request.
- Fixed and conditional fees – we are always willing to discuss flexible ways of charging and to share the risk with you.
Frequently asked questions:
Someone else is using a brand which looks like my trade mark, what can I do?
If it appears that someone is using a mark similar to yours, and whether or not you have registered your mark yet, you may have a claim. It is important that you seek advice quickly, as any serious delay may mean that the Court will refuse you an emergency injunction (if that is what you need). Depending upon the circumstances, and if the matter cannot be resolved by correspondence, you may wish to bring a claim for trade mark infringement, passing off or infringement of copyright.
What are my legal options?
There are various courses of action which can be pursued if your mark is being infringed. Unless it is an emergency, the usual first step is to write a formal Letter Before Claim to the infringer setting out the nature of your claim and what you want from them; often giving the other party 14 or 21 days to reply. If matters cannot be resolved in correspondence, then it is common for the parties to either meet face to face or to engage the services of a neutral third-party mediator. Should that not lead to a conclusion, then you would most likely issue a formal Court claim in either The High Court or in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (depending upon issues such as the value of the claim).
How can the Court help me?
As well as asking the Court to order that the infringer stop, you can also seek damages or an account of profits (i.e. to compel the infringer to hand over the money they wrongly made). The Court may order the infringer to provide documents showing what sales and profits it made from using the infringing mark.
I have been accused of infringement, what defences are available?
If you have been accused of infringing someone’s trade mark then there are a variety of defences which may be available. It will always depend upon the particular circumstances, but defences can include:
- You are only using your personal name or address.
- You are only using a mark which is descriptive of the type of goods or services in question.
- That you have “prior rights” to the mark.
- Your opponent’s mark should not have been registered.
- Your mark is not similar to that of your opponent.
- Your goods or services are not similar to those of your opponent.
- Your opponent has not used their trade mark and its registration should therefore be revoked.
There are many more. If you have been accused of infringing someone’s trade mark, then you should seek advice straight away as this is a complex area of law.