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Service marks are used to distinguish one competitor or brand of service from another. Businesses that provide a service rely on their unique service marks to represent themselves and attract business. If a competitor uses a business's service mark without permission, the business of the service mark owner may suffer from losing clients, customers and/or profits. This type of encroachment upon a business's service mark can constitute service mark litigation.
Service marks are protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which gives legal ownership of a service mark to the registered party. Thus, no one else is allowed to use that service mark without permission from the service mark owner. If someone infringes upon this right, then service mark litigation may occur.
Service mark litigation may arise if a business uses a competitor's service mark unlawfully, or even if they use one that is similar. Such service mark litigations can lead to the violator needing to pay restitution and other legal fees to the service mark owner. In addition, it can hurt the service mark owner if they lose their publicly known service mark or lose business due to confusion created by the violator. Registering a service mark with the USPTO can drastically help to protect a service mark owner's intellectual property rights to that brand or name. However, if the mark is not registered, it is not under federal protection and any service mark litigation that arises may not end in favor of the original service mark owner.
Intellectual property attorneys can help business owners if service mark litigation is necessary. If you suspect or know that your service mark is being used unlawfully by another business, contact an attorney for assistance. Service mark law can be complicated, but intellectual property lawyers have a thorough understanding of these laws and processes. An experienced attorney can deliver a cease-and-desist letter and can then help you begin the service mark litigation process. The attorney will fight to defend your rights as a service mark owner and will help you recover any damages or losses that you have incurred.
Attorney Search Network can refer you to a service mark litigation lawyer who can assist you with service mark litigations. Contact us today to find a lawyer that can help your business protect its service mark.
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call us toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out our online form for your Intellectual Property lawyer referral.