Strong, enforceable trademark rights enable a company to achieve brand recognition in existing markets, and to extend its brands into new markets. The registration of a trademark is a crucial step in protecting the brand identity of a business and its goods and services. But with or without a registration, issues of trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition, counterfeiting, or trademark dilution can arise. Our attorneys are experienced in all phases of trademark litigation, including the strategic use of both the courts and the Trademark Office to achieve client goals in protecting their trademarks and service marks. Meunier Carlin & Curfman represents clients – ranging from emerging companies to large, international corporations – in proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Office, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) proceedings and in both State and Federal Courts. We have handled hundreds of trademark proceedings and are experienced in using the most effective forum to best address a client’s needs and objectives.
Trademark Litigation in Federal and State Courts
We worked closely with clients to first try to resolve trademark disputes through negotiation and settlement. When that is not possible, trademark owners may decide to file suit in federal or state courts. We have represented clients in all phases of traditional trademark litigation, including:
- Bringing and defending preliminary injunctions that can address immediate relief or future trademark use
- Addressing complex issues of fair use and likelihood of confusion
- Corrective advertising that requires a defendant to publicly correct or clarify a trademark issue
- Anticounterfeiting issues and seizures
- Monetary relief, including awards of attorney’s fees, damages, and profits
- Carefully fashioning permanent injunctive relief to ensure that an issue is resolved once and for all
Contested Registration Proceedings at the USPTO
Trademark litigation also involves administrative proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board which can be used effectively to address issues such as a likelihood of confusion, genericness, validity and proper use of a mark. MCC attorneys have appeared in over 100 opposition and cancellation proceedings before the TTAB.
We routinely represent clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings in a wide variety of industry sectors, including medical products, consumer products, fashion, hospitality, beverages, industrial goods, automobiles, start-up companies and professional services. Our experiences range from challenging and defending the validity of trademarks that are the subject of a pending application to presenting testimony of use and strength of a mark before the TTAB. We provide a full spectrum of trademark litigation services, including protecting famous marks that may be a well-known house mark to individual product and service names. We are keenly sensitive to applying the right level of effort and skillset to marks that are “front line” assets to be vigorously protected and enforced, and to product or service marks that may require a more considered and nuanced approach that navigates and balances a client’s risk tolerance with an appropriate legal acumen.