What do I do if I find someone using my trade mark?

Tip 1: Preserve the evidence

Whether this is taking screen shots or printing a hard copy of the online offending material, it’s important to keep a permanent record of potential intellectual property rights breaches.  This can be used to explain to your lawyers what the offending conduct involved, and as evidence to support a claim later down the line if necessary.  When preserving evidence, more is more, so collect material clearly showing the offending material.

Tip 2: Do not engage

Be extremely careful about what you say

How you respond to finding someone infringing upon your intellectual property rights is very important. Be careful not to take the bait, react emotionally, engage with trolls or put your foot in it. If you get into an online screaming match, it’s not going to assist you.

Tip 3: Get advice

Speak with a lawyer ASAP

Following the above, it is really important to speak with a lawyer before taking any steps to respond.  Make sure you are getting the right advice from the right person that has experience in this area of law.  We find not many lawyers really understand the online environment, so really make sure they’ve got some experience in dealing with this type of situation.

Tip 4: Prevention is the best cure

Get adequate protection: this is your wake-up call.

To prevent or avoid situations like these, or to put yourself in the strongest position should an infringement dispute arise, ensure that your intellectual property rights are appropriately protected.  With intellectual property, possession is nine-tenths of the law. That is, whoever has registered their trade mark or created their copyrighted material first will have the best claim over its ownership.  Because of this, it is very important to act promptly and get your intellectual property protected as quickly as possible.

 

While it’s a well-worn cliche, in the intellectual property space it’s relevant to consider time, stitches and savings. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive even some preliminary intellectual protection can provide, such as registering a trade mark.  

On the other hand, you will be equally as surprised at how expensive it can be to remedy infringements and make objections when somebody is misusing your intellectual property.