John B.


Lawrence E. Laubscher, Jr.


Ian D. Titley

What is Trademark Infringement?


What does “infringement” mean?

Well, as in horseshoes and hand grenades, close counts in marks. When you own a mark, you not only can stop someone from later using the exact same mark to sell the same product or service, but you also can stop someone from later using a confusingly similar mark to sell even a similar product or service.

This means you have a zone of protection around your mark – your “mark turf.” How big that turf is depends on several things, such as how inherently distinctive your mark is and whether you picked a mark that is unlike any other mark being used to sell similar products and services.

Some marks have really narrow turf – essentially covering only exact matches of a mark for overlapping goods/services. Other marks have wide turf – the power to preclude even moderately similar marks used for even similar or complimentary goods/services.