Trademark Disputes in NYC
Ask a New York City Litigation Attorney
It can be difficult to know for sure if a trademark is legally protected
or not. Trademark law protects names, logos and marketing tactics or devices
that are unique to one company or industry. This type of trademark would
be considered "strong" and legally protected. A strong trademark
can either be born strong or they can become strong. If the trademark
comes out of the ordinary or is created from the beginning then it is
considered "born strong;" examples include Kodak and Yahoo.
If a trademark becomes well known over time then that would be an example
of becoming strong. A trademark can become strong if the owner shows significant
sales and public awareness of their trademark. This process is called
secondary meaning, some examples would be Bank of America and Peet's
Coffee. Weak trademarks would simply describe quality of the merchandises
based on a name or term and these are generally not protected in trademark
law. If you have a question about a trademark and whether or not it is
legally protected feel free to contact a New York City litigation lawyer
from our firm.
Types of Trademark Disputes
Oftentimes disputes arise regarding trademarks, such as:
- A third parties intentionally choosing a domain that is similar to another
trademark in order to confuse the difference between the two
- A situation in which it was not clear whether or not the domain owner registered
a name or trademark in order to receive goodwill from another trademark
- Cybersquatters who register misleading domains intentionally and effect
the actual domain owners (Ex. www.aircanada.com) Viewers may think that
is the site for the airline but it is not
- Conflict between two companies or parties that have the same name for their
domain (Ex. If United Airlines and United Healthcare both want the right
Conflict arises when trademark owners want to expand their marketing to
the internet and assume that their domain names are trademarked and they
can have their company name online. On the other hand, domain name holders
follow a "first come- first served" approach to registering
domain names. Disputes come about wherein the trademark owner will sue
but the domain name owner will argue that trademark law does not protect
situations like these.
Resolving Trademark Disputes in New York
Legal precedence when it comes to internet trademarks is lacking so it
is difficult to resolve trademark disputes. In 1995, a Dispute Policy
was formed in order to bring uniformity to this arena. The policy provides
an administrative way for owners of trademarks to handle the domain name
holders that may be causing them difficulty. There is still a lack of
penalization or rules in this area, it is more of a suggestion that gives
other possibilities that are not exactly the same as other trademarks.
Common law is used to resolve disputes regarding entitlement of trademarks.
The goal of using common law is to prevent client confusion and unfair
competition. The rules come from the federal and state courts and decisions
are made in favor of the corporation or company that used the trademark first.
Let a New York City Trademark Dispute Lawyer Help
If you are dealing with any type of trademark matter it is important to
know the legal precedence in your state and unique situation. New York
has its own statutes in place to regulate trademarks and the regulations
can be overwhelming. Team up with a skilled NYC litigation attorney from
The Law Office of Steven R. Sutton to ensure that your rights are protected.
We have 75 years of combined experience helping clients resolve their
Call our firm today to see how we may be able to help you.