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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.
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).
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.
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:
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.