If you believe that an unauthorised third party is using your registered trade mark to sell or promote their goods and services and is potentially harming your pre-existing reputation in the marketplace, you need to know when you should begin infringement proceedings against that third party. Here, we take a closer look at the steps you need to take before taking action.
First Steps And Investigations
Although there is no specific rule, it’s advisable that you carry out thorough enquiries before you contact the potential violator and to keep recorded evidence of their infringing activities. As an example, you may keep records of infringing activities or items that you have found online, or you may wish to carry out a test purchase or even hire a private investigator to carry out a suitable investigation. This will give you the evidence you need to substantiate your claim in the event that the case needs to progress to court.
Avoiding Unjustified Threats
Any parties that are litigating in the UK need to be aware of the legislation that relates to unjustified threats. Such provisions are in place to prevent any spurious threats of trade mark infringement being carried out against distributors and traders who may be afraid of the prospect of being caught up in expensive litigation and, therefore, capitulate and damage their businesses even if the trade mark at issue isn’t infringed or invalid. This means that you need to care extra care when sending a Cease and Desist letter to a distributor or a trader since a letter of this nature could constitute an actionable threat and this could entitle the recipient to begin court proceedings and seek out an injunction to prevent further threats not to mention damages.
If you are certain that an unauthorised third party is using your registered trade mark unlawfully you should seek advice from a specialist solicitor who can determine whether you have a case and advise you as to the course of action to take.