Is someone using your trademark without your permission, and it's now causing confusion about your business? If so, you'll need to know more about proving trademark infringement
There are tests that a court will do in order to determine if a trademark is being infringed on. It starts by validating that the trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and that you are the legal owner of the trademark. If the trademark was transferred to you, then you'll need to provide proof of the transfer.
However, if you have licensed a trademark instead of owning it, then you must have the right in your agreement to sue others for improper use of the trademark. As a licensee, you may not have the legal right to pursue trademark infringement.
Provide Proof Of Infringement
You need to provide proof that there is some sort of trademark infringement. The infringement does not need to be an exact replica of your trademark either, since it may be slightly altered intentionally in order to cause confusion in the marketplace. This can be done by showing examples of how the other person used your trademark improperly by providing photographs of items or places where it is being used.
Demonstrate A Likelihood of Confusion
A judge will determine if there is a likelihood of confusion during the trademark infringement legal process. However, it is up to you to provide that evidence. For example, if you own a restaurant that uses a specific logo, and a competitor opened up a similar restaurant that uses a similar logo to yours, this is likely to cause confusion with customers to believe that both restaurants are related to each other.
A likelihood of confusion will typically happen if both uses of the trademark are competing for products or businesses. For instance, there may not be a likelihood of confusion if one company is using the trademark for a restaurant and the other is using it for a tech company.
As you can imagine, it can get difficult to confuse the likelihood of confusion when the products are not direct competitors. Proving that the competitor had intent when infringing on your trademark can be hard to do in some situations. It's also possible that the competitor is using your trademark in a space that you intend to expand into at some point in the future.
Reach out to a trademark lawyer for assistance with your trademark infringement lawsuit.