Trademark Infringement Law and Legal Definition

Trademark infringement is violation of the exclusive rights attaching to a trademark without the authorization of a trademark owner. Trademark infringement is the commercial use of the same or similar mark by another with respect to related goods or services which is likely to cause confusion with respect to actual or potential customers of the trademark owner's goods or services. Infringement occurs when a person, the infringer, uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another person, in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers. An owner of a trademark can commence legal proceedings against a party that infringes its registration.

In the U.S., the federal trademark law called the Lanham Act authorizes suit to be brought for infringement of either registered or common law trademark rights. Remedies for an infringement includes injunctive relief to prohibit future infringement, the impoundment and destruction of goods bearing infringing trademarks, an infringer's profits, the trademark owner's actual damages and court costs. In the U.S., most states have their own trademark statutes. Therefore, a trademark owner has the option of pursuing a trademark infringement action based on both state and federal law and in either state or federal court.