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Tips for avoiding trademark infringement

When starting a business in Miami, owners must consider a number of different things. Choosing a name for the company or a logo is vital to the success of many endeavors, as it gives the company a brand and serves as something that consumers can associate with the goods or services it provides. However, business owners should practice caution and make sure that the name or logo they choose is not too similar to anything another company is already using or they may find themselves in court.

According to Entrepreneur, a number of different factors will be considered when deciding if something infringes on an existing trademark. One such issue is whether any confusion has occurred between the two marks. For example, if customers have contacted one company or bought something from that company thinking it was the other business, confusion between the two marks has occurred. In addition, a court will look at how similar the services or products the two company provide are. Infringement may be more likely to have occurred if the two businesses both sell food, for example. Even if they are two different types of food, there may be enough similarity to cause confusion.

Perhaps most importantly, the marks will be directly compared. A court may consider:

  • If they look alike
  • If they give off the same impression
  • If they sound alike
  • If they have the same meaning

If there are no real similarities found between any of these things, then infringement is not likely to have occurred.

As the United States Patent and Trademark Office points out, if a business is found guilty of infringing on another company’s trademark, they may be required to destroy any products that contain the mark and to cease using the mark going forward. They may also be subject to monetary punishment, such as paying for the other party’s attorneys’ fees and compensating the prevailing party for any damages or lost revenue they may have suffered.

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