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Is it legal for someone else to use your trademark?

May 26, 2022 | Copyright & Trademark Litigation and Applications

Your trademark has a strong association with your brand. When people see your trademark, they instantly think of your company. It is in every business’s best interests to preserve its unique branding and prevent others from negatively influencing how the public perceives the organization.

Someone else using your trademark on their products, packaging or website could potentially impact how your customers view the business. Is it ever legal for another company to use your trademark without permission? 

Certain actions may constitute fair use

Most unique creations, like trademarks, have some degree of intellectual property protection. Others cannot use your trademark or copyrighted creations to build their own brand or trick consumers into choosing their products. However, they can use your trademark for editorial, parody or review purposes.

Someone publishing an article comprehensively reviewing your company’s offerings or comparing you with other companies in your industry may use a trademark as an image to clarify which business they mean. Still, they cannot use the trademark in a way that implies it is their own creation or that they have an affiliation with your business.

Some people do not understand the rules that apply to trademarks, so sending a written letter advising them of their infringement could be enough to stop them. Other times, you may need to go to court to defend your rights when someone misuses your company logo or trademark. A judge can order the other party to stop using your trademark and may even award you damages in certain cases.

Taking the right actions to protect your trademark will benefit your brand in the long term.