All Questions in Trademark Disputes >> [Trademark] Infringement allegation help please

[Trademark] Infringement allegation help please

Posted by . updated on 11/11/2009
Hi

I am totally new to this whole deal so please bear with me.

I am the owner of a fishing related business here in the US, called  XXXXXXXXXX  I sell fishing baits for catfish and carp fishing here in the US.

I recently received an email from a company in the UK called XXXXXXXXX, stating I was infringing on their copyright by calling my company anything that had XXXXXXX in the title.

They also said that as my corporate colors were similar to theirs (Mine are black and yellow and theirs are silver and orange) that I was infringing on their copyright by having these colors.

My question is  surely I would have to be calling my company the same as theirs to infringe? And also can they copyright a color ??

I am a little worried at the moment as this was a very threatening email, where they stated they would issue legal proceedings unless I stopped trading.

Any advice here please, specifically whether they are correct with regard to the copyright laws.

Thanks in advance


Edit:  I should have added that my company has been in existence for sometime now, it is a new company, in fact I would hazard a guess that I have been trading longer than the UK company
Answers (6)
 
Smokin
This is more of a trademark issue, so I would post this in that forum rather than in here.

Important facts you should offer is how long you have been in business for and how long they have. If you were around first, then they would be the ones infringing on your trademark ("theoretically"). Trademark issues I'm sure gets more complicated when you are dealing with some biz overseas.

Also its wise not to use specific info like actual company names since this can be goggled and VC can read what you are writing.
 
 
MYK
They did register their domain name about two and a half years before yours, which may be when they chose their company name, or may just be when they bothered to start setting up a website.  Find out when they started using their mark, and compare to when you started to use yours.  Do you have any proof of date of first use?  Did you register your mark?

Otherwise, they're in Britain, you're in the U.S., the colors aren't even close, it doesn't look like they've registered their mark here, it isn't famous, and unless they've been selling in the U.S., their mark is junior to yours here (at least in the region in which you've been selling your products).  Demand that they retract their defamatory letter, shutter their doors, and pay you a huge wad of money.  I also suggest reminding them that we took the San Juan Islands from them after killing just one British pig, and we can do the same again in bloody Shropshire.  Good cheese, though.
 
 
scorpion
Thanks for the advice....

I should have mentioned that I have been trading here in the US under the name for over 4 years now, but only recently bought the domain name.

I have spoken to an attorney and he told me not to worry about it...........Hopefully good advice, it was free! Smiley

I edited my original post to remove the names (Thanks for that advice too!!) Smiley
 
 
Lyza
To MYK,

Are you sure it was just one pig?  We let them off easy. 

Thanks for the laugh.

Lyza
 
 
MYK
While I would not worry excessively about it, primarily because of the international bit, if they were to become the next really hot fishing rod and then expand significantly in the U.S., it could cause confusion about who is manufacturing your catfish baits.  After all, is it "XXXXXXX(TM) Baits", or "XXXXXXX Baits(TM)"?

You might also check the British TM registry to see if/when they registered theirs.

To MYK,
Are you sure it was just one pig?  We let them off easy. 
Thanks for the laugh.
You think I'm joking, don't you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War

Tongue  Grin
 
 
Lyza
Nope.  I was being "cheeky."  Knew you weren't joking at all.  It was actually the "...bloody Shropshire.  Good cheese, though" remark that killed me.  Thanks.

Lyza
 

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