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Trademark infringement is on the rise

It's not unusual for California business owners to want to have something truly unique about their brand that's also legally protected. The World Intellectual Property Organization reports that the number of trademark application filings has spiked considerably. In 2017 alone, applications jumped 30 percent over the previous year. Because of the rise of trademark application filings, there is greater need to be diligent about screening, clearing, registering and watching trademarks.

Even with many brands being more cautious, infringement is on the rise. Any type of trademark infringement litigation has the potential to be devastating for a business, especially if a significant investment has already been made. A leading trademark research and brand protection firm conducted a survey in which 81 percent of respondents reported experiencing instances of infringement within the past year, a 10 percent increase from a survey conducted for the same purposes the year prior.

Part of the reason for these results may be because infringement can extend beyond traditional entities to include social media names, web domains and ad campaigns. Nearly 30 percent of survey respondents with infringement issues had to change their brand's name. Almost three-quarters of businesses also had to take costly legal action to defend themselves against infringement claims. As for possible solutions, nearly 60 percent of respondents believe that better technology would take some of the risk out of the name creation process.

The purpose of trademark infringement litigation is to prevent another brand or business from profiting from a creative concept or design that does not belong to them. A lawyer might attempt to resolve the issue without court intervention by seeking fair compensation for damages. An attorney may also help a business reduce their risk of infringement by assisting with the process of filing a trademark application.

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