The critical laws that protect the ever-important trademark have been in place since 1946. These laws are essential to ensure businesses avoid the risks of counterfeit marks and secure their brand.
Business owners must be aware of the recent additions to sustain and improve these protections.
AMENDMENTS REINFORCE TRADEMARK PROTECTIONS
At the end of 2020, federal lawmakers added a new set of regulations with the Trademark Modernization Act. The new law makes important amendments to the Lanham Act (1946). In particular, three things of note that the Act does is to:
- Reaffirm the presumption that businesses suffer irreparable harm when trademark infringement occurs, making it easier for them to obtain injunctions;
- Adjust the process of trademark prosecution allowing parties to submit evidence of potential conflicts with existing trademarks; and
- Create new ways to challenge and examine trademarks for non-use, and now includes non-use as a reason for canceling a trademark registration.
The goal of these amendments is to target issues with fraudulent trademarks, as well as coordinate the legal process of resolving disputes after the divergence that occurred after the well-known case of eBay v. MercExchange, L.L.C., in 2006.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESS OWNERS?
Trademark infringement damages businesses, and the changes to the Act should help businesses increase their trademark protection.
For example, injunctions are a critical tool when it comes to stopping trademark infringement. They can prevent further damaging effects of trademark infringement and force the other party to stop any infringing actions. Yet, proving irreparable harm occurred can often pose a challenge. Reaffirming the presumption is critical to help businesses effectively defend their trademarks.
As we have discussed in past blog posts, the risk of infringement seems only to increase with time and advances in technology. Hopefully, these changes will help to improve trademark protection processes in the modern world.