Bad Faith (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Bad faith is the mental state characterized by an intent to deceive consumers by using a competitor's trademark or one that is confusingly similar to it. Bad faith is not required to find trademark infringement or dilution. However, courts may award monetary damages in a case where there is bad faith on the part of the defendant. When a defendant failed to conduct a trademark search prior to adopting a mark it can be considered as an evidence of bad faith. However, bad faith is not always found where the plaintiff's mark came up in defendant's trademark search. This is because the defendant can have had a good faith belief that the mark was already diluted from extensive use by others, or that the products or services sold by plaintiff were sufficiently different that the defendant planned to sell.