Innocent Junior User Law and Legal Definition

Innocent junior user refers to a person who, without any actual or constructive knowledge uses a trademark that has been previously used in a geographically distant market. In addition, innocent junior user may continue to use the trademark in a limited geographic area as long as the senior user does not use the mark there. An innocent junior user could acquire trademark rights in remote geographic areas. With the advent of the Lanham Act, innocent junior users may continue to use a trademark only until such time as the registered trademark owner expands its trade into the junior user's geographic region. In National Trailways Bus System v. Trailway Van Lines, Inc., 269 F. Supp. 352 (E.D.N.Y. 1965), it was held that even against an innocent junior user, an owner of a mark has the right to enjoin use of the mark in related fields:

1.if the senior user may at some future date desire to expand his business into the related field;or

2.to keep it free from the stain and tarnishment which may result from improper trade practices of the junior user.