NannyPay Or NaniPay – What is the Distinction and Why Ought to We Care?

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A latest article within the authorized press described a trademark battle between two small corporations:

“A trademark battle has erupted between the maker of NannyPay and the maker of NaniPay, two corporations that supply options for the issue of pay a nanny and adjust to the law.  Firm 1, the consumer of NaniPay, despatched a cease-and-desist letter to Firm 2, the consumer of NannyPay, saying that it should cease utilizing the time period NannyPay for its software program or face a lawsuit from Firm 1. However as a substitute of ceasing its use, Firm 2 determined to win the race to court docket. It filed swimsuit looking for a declaratory judgment that its NannyPay trademark doesn’t infringe on Firm 1’s NaniPay mark.”  Cyberlaw Archives.

Firm 1 thought it may bully the little software program firm into giving up its registered trademark however Firm 2’s fast response paid off; and the case settled within the software program firm’s favor. The authorized battle was unavoidable. Each Firm 2 and Firm 1 understood that the similarity between the 2 emblems may confuse their clients, which might in the end have an effect on every firm’s profitability. Each took steps to guard these worthwhile property. Firm 2 registered its trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Workplace (“USPTO”) lengthy earlier than the lawsuit; and whereas Firm 1 had uncared for to take action (a pricey mistake), it retained a law agency to demand Firm 2 to stop and desist utilizing the mark “NannyPay.”

Clearly, emblems and repair marks are price defending and could also be amongst your small business’ most useful property. How do you establish a commerce or service mark? Straightforward – they’re the names, pictures, or phrases that establish your services or products and make clients consider you after they hear or see the mark. If you consider a trademark you might instantly consider “Coca-Cola®”, “Kodak®”, or “Home windows®” however your mark doesn’t should be well-known to be worthwhile. Consider the implications of somebody stealing your commerce or service mark and advertising it as their very own – ouch! As I’ve tried to convey, lawsuits are fabricated from that stuff. Additionally, think about the implications of utilizing a commerce or service mark that another person owns – much more fodder for lawsuits. When you’ve got a commerce or service mark, decide whether or not anyone else is utilizing it. If not, register it with the USPTO. Registration is vital as a result of it serves as proof that you just owned your mark first and offers statutory damages do you have to sue for infringement. Bear in mind, nonetheless, should you go to the difficulty and expense of registering your trademark, you should monitor it. Search the Web repeatedly, and test your commerce journals, newspapers and different publications and ensure nobody is infringing it. Additionally, do not put your registered trademark away for a wet day. A trademark should be utilized in commerce and failure to make use of it may be deemed abandonment.

Listed here are ten the reason why you wish to register your trademark. They’ve been extensively revealed however price repeating:

1. TRADEMARK SEARCH. Earlier than registering your mark, your lawyer will be certain an intensive trademark search is carried out to find out whether or not anyone else could also be utilizing the identical or related mark.

2. PRINTING COSTS. For those who do not register and you discover out later that one other firm already has the identical or a really related identify, you’ll have to redo all your enterprise playing cards, stationery, promoting, and indicators.

3. LOST CUSTOMERS. If it’s a must to change your small business identify since you later discover out that another person is already utilizing it, you might confuse and lose your clients.

4. EXCLUSIVE USE. Registering your mark offers you the unique proper to make use of it inside the related geographic space. 5. OPTION TO EXPAND. You might lose the suitable to develop outdoors the unique enterprise space if you don’t register your trademark.

6. PRESUMPTION OF OWNERSHIP. Anybody else who makes use of your registered mark might be presumed to be a willful infringer, and you might be entitled to financial damages on account of the infringement.

7. STATE law PROTECTION. Some states’ legal guidelines present further safety in an infringement motion if the mark is registered with the state.

8. FEDERAL PROTECTION. Federal registration serves as constructive discover to the remainder of the nation that you’re the proprietor of the mark, even when you don’t but do enterprise nationally.

9. LIABILITY TO REGISTERED OWNER. If you don’t register and there occurs to be a registered proprietor of the identical or a considerably related mark, that proprietor can have an indefinite time period to search out you and sue you for infringement.

10. MONEY, MONEY, AND MORE MONEY. When you’ve got infringed on another person’s identify or mark, you might be ordered to rename your organization instantly; hand over all earnings earned by way of the unregistered mark; and pay different damages, together with punitive damages, fines, and attorneys’ charges.

Take into consideration these factors as they relate to your small business.

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