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Trade Mark Infringement Process

Paypal infringement matter

Trade mark infringement is far more common than most business owners would expect. Brands that start developing a good reputation in the marketplace are often copied or imitated by other companies trying to capitalise on their growing goodwill. In this post, we will discuss what the trade mark infringement process involves and how a company can enforce their trade mark rights.

What is trade mark infringement?

If a company uses an identical or similar trade mark for the same set of goods or services to a registered trade mark, they are committing trade mark infringement. Due to the similarity, the trade mark can cause confusion in the public. Consumers might believe that the product or service being offered by the company bares a relation to the registered trade mark.

This can lead to a number of issues for the company with the registered trade mark. It can cause a decline in their sales. Their reputation can be affected if the similar product or service is of sub-par category thus being detrimental to a mark’s distinctive character leading to dilution of their trade mark.
A good example of trade mark infringement by an identical logo can be seen below

UNIQLO trade mark copy MINISO

When a trade mark has significant reputation, any same or similar mark will also be counted as an infringement regardless of what products or services are being sold. A company cannot use a similar sounding name or logo to a reputable trade mark.

How do you address trade mark infringement?

Once a clear case of trade mark infringement has been established, the company with the registered trade mark has to enforce its protection. This can be done in a number of ways which have been outlined below.


An often necessary step in most legal matters, mediation can be used to come to an agreeable settlement between two parties. It is a cheaper and quicker alternative to court action. The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) provides accredited mediation services covering a range of intellectual property rights.

Using Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC)

IPEC has been created to help small and medium-sized companies as well as individuals to resolve intellectual property (IP) issues in a more affordable manner. A trade mark infringement matter would be covered under the IPEC.

IPEC offers two procedures, which are listed below.

  • IPEC (Small Claims Track): Claims less than £10,000. No legal representation is required.
  • IPEC (Multi Track): Recoverable costs are cappeTraded at £50,000, while the value of damages claim is capped at a maximum of £500,000.

Any claim worth more than £500,000 in damages or lost profits will have to be taken to the High Court.

How would a trade mark infringement process be started?

If a company finds a clear case of trade mark infringement, it is recommended that they contact a trade mark attorney to discuss the matter. In doing so, they can learn what the steps will be in order to deal with the matter.

As a first step in stopping trade mark infringement, the infringer must be notified of the issue through a cease and desist letter. The purpose of this is to stop them from continuing the use of their trade mark and understand the consequences they can face as a result of this infringement.

Mediation services can be used at this point as well as an attempt made to amicable resolve the matter directly between the two parties. This is often requested before court action is taken and is seen as a positive step.

Once no resolution can be achieved either directly or through mediation. The next step is to escalate the matter in the court. This is time consuming and costly.
One of the most important aspects of trade mark infringement is gathering evidence of losses, damage to reputation or any other issues caused by it. This can be difficult, especially proving financial losses as a result of trade mark infringement. Some methods of quantifying losses are through researching website traffic, brand recognition online and obtaining company financial information, if possible.

The same applies for proving damages to reputation. If the infringer has received negative feedback and reviews publicly, it can be used to show damage to reputation.

If you were to come across a case of trade mark infringement, it would be best to start by contacting a trade mark attorney or intellectual property solicitor and then following the steps outlined above.

How to choose the right name for your business”?

Entrepreneurs choose a new business name

Your company name is important for a number of reasons, and can make a significant difference in terms of success. It can make your brand well known and that is something every company wants, as it drives traffic and sales.

So what does your name need to convey:

  • expertise
  • value
  • uniqueness of your product/service

Descriptive or Abstract Names

There is some controversy in opinion over whether your company name should be something abstract or something which clearly illustrates what your company is. And there is also controversy over whether either of those two lead to a more memorable or forgettable name. You should research what your audience will positively react to. Based on this, you can select an appropriate name for your business.

A company name is just the start. It needs to be promoted through a strong marketing strategy to develop and spread the word about the business and what it is you can offer. The term “branding”, which is now used, encompasses your company name, logo etc. and this helps advertising. Having a strong brand does make a difference and it is your brand that people remember, and that all starts with a name!

In today’s internet fuelled business world, there are new companies starting up regularly. Most of them tend to use very unique and original names. A more distinct a name, the better the brand recognition. When it comes to trade marks, you’ll have to have a uniquely different and new name in order to get a registered trade mark.

So, when coming up with a good name that needs to convey those three crucial aspects you definitely have a bit of a challenge ahead of you (unless you happen to have a product which easily lends itself to a name, or you are extremely creative!).

Using Naming Professionals

If you still struggle with finding a name, then you can choose to consult a “naming experts”. They can help you pick the right name for your business. This might be useful in competitive markets where most names are similar and you need something unique. Using this can come at a price though.

These are some top tips that you can find all over the internet on how to write a good name:

  • Choose a name that conjures up pleasant memories, which allows customers to respond to your business on an emotional level
  • Focus on what the business is about
  • Try to keep your name as short and straightforward as possible – confusing names are easy to forget!
  • See if you can get a name that appeals to you but also the customers you want to attract
  • Avoid using puns or private jokes that only you understand
  • Don’t use a string of letters or numbers as apparently this rarely works well for small businesses

Here are some other tips that can help you come up with an appropriate name for your business, but also enable you to be able to trade mark it.

Recommended Tips

Your company name should appeal to your target market. This will help lessen advertising costs required to explain the brand name. However, companies which using unique or made up words have had enormous success in recent years. The most popular example of this is Google. Unique and made up names create intrigue and that can itself bring about crucial conversations explaining your line of work. Feel free to use words that are not in the dictionary, this can be of benefit because these words have a good chance of being completely original and not trademarked yet. You can be creative with this and there are specialist companies who can help you come up with new words that resonate with readers due to the letter formations etc.

Try to avoid using place names in your company name unless it is a product relevant to that specific area. If it isn’t relevant to that specific area people from other places may not realize it has benefit to them, and could make branching out harder.

Having a trade mark is fundamental, so before signing off on your name, make sure it is available to trade mark. Speak to a lawyer or company specializing in trade marks and make sure that yours could work.

Equally, test the name out in general.  Would it look good on promotional material, does it work well with a logo, these are all things which lead to the complete brand package, and very often people trade mark multiple assets of their brand, so make sure they complement each other.

So to conclude, you will have no doubt spent a few weeks debating which name is most appropriate and made sure it fits your objectives. As stated before, a name is just the start, the marketing and promotion efforts will help get your name out there, but it is the first thing people notice so make sure it’s memorable.

Best of luck embarking on the challenge of finding a good name, it isn’t easy and we hope this information helps, but if you do need further help, do get in touch with us.