Intellectual Property

Tips for Preventing Trademark Infringement and Disputes


Tips for Preventing Trademark Infringement and Disputes

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark that is identical or similar to a trademark that is already registered or used in the marketplace. This leads to confusion among current and potential customers, which ultimately inflicts damage on your brand’s reputation as well as revenue. Trademark infringement is a violation of the trademark owner’s rights and can result in legal action being taken to stop the infringement and damages.

Furthermore, a trademark dispute is a legal dispute between two or more parties over the use of a trademark. Trademark disputes can arise when one party claims that another party's use of a similar trademark is likely to cause confusion among consumers, dilute the distinctiveness of the original trademark, or otherwise infringe on their rights. These disputes can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or litigation in court.

Dealing with trademark infringement and disputes can be a complex and time-consuming process. It depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the parties involved. In this post, we will provide several examples of trademark infringement cases and further offer useful tips for preventing trademark infringement and disputes. 

Examples of Trademark Infringement Cases

  1. In 2021, the sportswear company Adidas filed a lawsuit against Thom Browne, a high-end fashion brand, alleging that Thom Browne's four-stripe design was too similar to Adidas’ iconic three-stripe design and infringed on Adidas’ trademarks. However, in January 2023, the jury ruled in favor of Thom Browne as the four-strip design was not likely to cause confusion among consumers with Adidas’ products, dismissing Adidas’ claim.
  2. In 2021, the popular sports-apparel company Nike, Inc. and the small company “Nikee,” the owner of a small clothing brand, reached an agreement through mediation, where the small company agreed to change its name and branding to avoid confusion with Nike.
  3. In 2021, Coca-Cola Company, as a preventive measure, filed a lawsuit against a small company “Coco Cola” that was about to launch in the market. The company agreed to change its name and branding to avoid confusion with Coca-Cola.
  4. In 2020, the entertainment company Warner Bros filed a lawsuit against a small company "Warner Bros. Coffee" for using the same name and similar branding. The court ruled in favor of the small company, stating that it had been operating under that name for more than a decade before Warner Bros filed its lawsuit and had not caused confusion among consumers.
  5. In 2018, the luxury fashion brand Gucci sent a cease and desist letter to Forever 21, claiming that the fast-fashion retailer was using Gucci's trademarked stripes on its clothing and accessories without permission. As a result, Forever 21 agreed to stop selling the infringing items and pay Gucci an undisclosed sum in damages.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples and the process can vary depending on the circumstances of the case (e.g., registered country, date of registration, etc.) and the parties involved.

Tips for Preventing Trademark Infringement and Disputes

Have a solid trademark registration: A strong trademark registration can increase the chances of a successful outcome in a legal dispute.

Monitor your trademark: Regular monitoring of your trademark can help you detect infringement early and take action before it becomes a major problem. Taking advantage of trademark monitoring services can help you save time and money and most of all, protect your intellectual property.

Act quickly: The longer you wait to take action, the more difficult and costly it may be to stop the infringement. For example, in China, the price of dealing with a trademark infringement is three times the price of filing a new application and is at least ten times more expensive once you resort to litigation in court.

Consider professional services: There are many online services that provide solid trademark registration and monitoring in a simple, cost-effective way such as MARQ Folio; a worldwide trademark filing and monitoring service where you can submit an application within a few minutes, get help from top-tier local law firms and take control of your trademarks globally by automatically receiving a notification when your trademark has been submitted for registration in countries where you do not hold a registration.


Learn how MarqVision can help you navigate every aspect of registering and monitoring your trademarks around the world.

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