A trademark infringement investigation is a highly focused type of case assignment typically only accepted by specialists in the field of intellectual property. Trademark investigators almost always have a background in business law and are experts in identifying instances of trademark infringement and filing suit to achieve a cease and desist order, as well as financial penalties against the violator.
This essay provides guidance on commencing Trademark and Servicemark infringement lawsuits. Additionally, we will discuss special investigative professionals who can uncover proof of infringement to bolster any legal case.
Trademark Infringement Investigation Defined
Trademarks (also sometimes called Servicemarks) are exclusive rights granted to the originator, manufacturer, owner or developer of certain products, services, business symbols or trade names. Trademarks are a form of intellectual property.
Trademark infringement occurs when a person or organization uses the exact same product, service, symbol or name to falsely represent themselves, or uses a strikingly similar product, service, symbol or trade-name to represent themselves.
There are many subtle variations on what exactly may or may not constitute trademark violation. This is truly a complicated legal issue, further hindered by the lack of international cooperation about maintaining the pristine nature of accepted trademark rights.
Trademark Infringement Case Types
Trademark investigators are armed with vast legal knowledge about how trade names, symbols, products and services can be legally used and what is unacceptable. Violation of a trademark can result in criminal actions and/or civil litigation.
Trademarks are granted for an indefinite period of time, but must be actively maintained. Failure to continually use a trademark will result in forfeiture of the intellectual property rights and provide ample legal opportunities for copy-cats to use the mark for whatever purpose they choose. Typically, forfeiture of trademark requires a period of 3 to 5 years of disuse, before the legal rights become null and void.
Trademark Infringement Investigation Specialists
Intellectual property investigations are becoming more and more commonplace, as companies try to prosper illegally and unethically from using registered ideas, products, services, symbols, logs and trade-names.
Currently, many countries, such as China, Thailand, parts of the Middle East and Africa are involved in widespread trademark infringement through counterfeit goods. There are always examples of trademark infringement on the internet, since protecting intellectual property online is virtually impossible, especially when servers hosting the infringing sites are located in China, Russia or other countries with a history of scoffing at trademark laws.
To learn more about hiring a private detective to conduct a trademark investigation for you or your company, contact a licensed professional investigator directly or call a local detective association for a referral.