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 in the eyes of the law, as well as those of the consumer.
However, 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, there are three things of note that this act does:
- It reaffirms the presumption that businesses suffer irreparable harm when trademark infringement occurs, making it easier for them to obtain injunctions
- It adjusts the process of trademark prosecution, allowing parties to submit evidence of potential conflicts with existing trademarks
- It creates 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?
There is no doubt that trademark infringement causes serious damage to businesses. We have yet to see how these new changes will work in action to protect the brand owner’s rights. However, this change in trademark law and practice is much needed.
For example, injunctions are a critical tool when it comes to stopping trademark infringement. They can prevent further dangerous 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.