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Trademark infringement addressed in two civil suits

Companies in Florida and elsewhere in the United States have the right to protect themselves from unfair competition, and state and federal regulations address this through trademark infringement laws, as well as others. According to Convenience Store News, two companies have recently filed civil litigation based on what they claim are imitated logos that have allegedly harmed their businesses.

Buc-ee’s Ltd., a company based out of Texas, claims that Choke Canyon Travel Center has designed a logo that is similar enough to confuse customers, as well as other elements of the business such as similar products and store layout. The convenience store chain, 7-Eleven Inc., is suing two companies in New York that have signage with logos that purportedly mimic the colors and design of the 7-Eleven trademarked logo.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office explains that to win the business tort cases, these companies will have to prove that their logos were designed before the alleged copies. In addition, evidence must be provided showing that the marks are similar enough to lead customers to believe the copies are the same as those owned by the plaintiffs.

Cases like these often include requests for compensation for the monetary damages sustained from the loss of custom and profit, as well as court costs and attorneys’ fees. The court typically also orders that a defendant destroy the copies and discontinue any use of the infringed trademark. Determination of the risk of confusion from a logo involves specific factors, but the comparisons of similar marks have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, since the individual elements vary in each situation. 

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