Litigation – Why It’s Best To Protect Yourself From The Outset
Litigation is the term used to describe proceedings initiated between two opposing parties to enforce or defend a legal right.
In the case of trade marks, litigation begins the moment someone decides to formally enforce or defend their legal rights.
The reality of litigation is that it is an incredibly stressful experience. It also has the potential to tie you up for a long time.
The best way to prevent it is to protect your business from the outset. However, if you do find yourself in this unenviable position, don’t bury your head in the sand and let it get to court.
It’s a much better idea, for all concerned, to find a way to settle the dispute. The best way is through compromise, negotiation, or finding common ground where both parties can get something of value from the situation. It will also be a lot cheaper (financially and emotionally).
Why is this litigation happening?
You may have found yourself in a litigation situation because you decided to go down the DIY route, got carried away, and forgot to do your research before registering your trade mark.
Let’s go back to where it all started.
You have a brilliant business idea. In your head, you’re already a success. Your business is booming, it has a catchy name, your marketing is on fire, and your website is drawing in thousands of visitors daily.
Life is great. However, there is one crucial step you forgot to take before you started promoting your brand.
In your excitement, you didn’t properly research the proposed trade mark for your new business. As a result, you left yourself open to what could be a very damaging and expensive liability due to trade mark infringement.
Now, what do you do?
You could wait and hope for the best.
However, the problem is that if there is a potential trade mark infringement out there, it’s not going to get better or go away. Plus, as your business grows in stature and visibility, the more likely a litigation claim will be made if there is a case for one.
Be proactive, not reactive
It’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive.
Before you get carried away with your new business, stop.
For now, put the fun stuff to one side (designing your logo, website, marketing strategy, etc.) and put your business head on.
You know your most valuable asset is your brand, so make sure you protect your intellectual property.
Find yourself a professional
However, if you do jump the gun, it’s not too late. Using their experience, they will investigate your predicament and come up with a flexible strategy to ensure that, as the case unfolds, a mutually acceptable outcome for all parties is reached.
Don’t leave anything to chance – get an expert to help you, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress.
Ward Trade Marks is a Bury St Edmunds-based specialist trade mark attorney firm.