Good Faith Defense (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Good faith is exercised as a defense in trademark infringement cases. When a defendant claims that use of plaintiff's mark is defensible as a fair use, the deciding factor is whether or not the defendant was exercising good faith. Good faith means that the defendant did not use the mark in order to utilize the plaintiff’s hard work in generating goodwill with consumers. If the defendant was justifiably using the mark in order to describe the underlying goods or services, then the defendant will likely be found to have had good faith in using the mark. Since the plaintiff in a trademark lawsuit is often seeking injunctive relief, which is an equitable remedy requiring the balancing of harms, whether or not the defendant exercised good faith or bad faith can have a considerable impact on the court's decision.