Protecting a trademark through intellectual property litigation

Glenn W. Peterson

Like companies across the country, many California companies rightly take the time and steps needed to protect their trademarks. The problem is that the more popular a particular trademark is, the more possibilities there are for someone to infringe on it. Intellectual property litigation may be needed in order to stop someone from using it without permission, particularly when cease and desist letters are not working.

Sending letters to those infringing on a trademark, directing them to cease and desist may work in some cases. However, some people out there simply do not care. They are making money off another company’s trademark and may actually force the owner’s hand by making the owner file a lawsuit to sort out the issue.

For example, a company bought the rights to the 1974 movie “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which most people know is a cult horror classic. The company found out that this trademark is ripe for infringement, especially around Halloween. An individual tasked with keeping track of and warning individuals and companies using the trademark discovered a larger than anticipated market for unauthorized merchandise, including T-shirts. Some companies in particular have been sent warning letters numerous times, to no avail.

The company that owns these rights may need to engage in some intellectual property litigation in order to try to recoup at least some of the monetary losses from the trademark infringement. California companies could also find themselves in a similar situation Regardless of the size of the company or scale of the infringement, the owner of the trademark retains the right to enforce its rights.