Buffalo Business First: Trademark Holders Defend Their Products
Trademark and patent holders have the right to protect their products and ideas, but it’s a right they must enforce themselves.
Be vigilant and keep an eye on what competitors are doing, advised Jeremy Oczek, a member at Bond Shoeneck & King in Buffalo.
“That takes an investment of time and resources. No one is going to do that for you,” he said. “If you have a patent and you feel that a competitor is using the technology, it’s on you to go investigate that and determine there is infringement. If you have a trademark and you feel that someone else is using something that is confusingly similar, you have an obligation to police that.”
A cease-and-desist letter lets the alleged infringer know that they are improperly using protected intellectual property, said Laura Colca, a partner at Goldberg Segalla in Buffalo.
“The cease-and-desist letter demands that the alleged infringer immediately suspend its activities,” she said. “Sometimes, but not always, cease-and-desist letters extend an offer to the alleged infringer to become an authorized licensee of the patent holder. (The letter) typically affords the alleged infringer a limited period of time to discontinue its activities before legal proceedings are commenced.”
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