Though it might not seem likely, it’s usually easy for people to accidentally infringe on a registered trademark in the present time. If you don’t get caught, of course hardly anything will happen. But, what if you do? What exactly happens if you get caught infringing on a trademark accidentally? Here’s what you need to know.
This might sound quite harsh at first but that’s the reality of it really. One of the vital first steps when registering a trademark is to do a trademark search. Because trademark search is such an important step in the process, it’s just something that you simply cannot miss. That is why saying that you accidentally infringed on a trademark is not exactly a strong argument. Even when you don’t plan to register a trademark yet, you should have already done enough research to make sure that you won’t end up with any conflicts.
If you get caught infringing on a trademark, you will soon receive a cease and desist letter. This document is basically sent to an individual or firm to stop any illegal activity (in this case it’s infringement) and not to resume the activity again. If the owner finds greater evidence of your violation, he/she may also demand compensation for damages. If you want to lessen the burden on your part, it would be best to immediately agree to the cease and desist order.
If you receive the cease and desist letter, make sure to check and review the document thoroughly. Are you really using the materials claimed by the owner? Are you using them in the way that’s stated in the letter? Have you obtained an assignment from the owner? By answering these questions, you might even be able to prove that your violation didn’t reach a greater extent. That way you might be able to reduce the cost of damages.