Individuals and companies in New Jersey are entitled to trademark their intellectual property. This gives them the exclusive right to use a logo, slogan or other mark. If other parties want to use something that has already been trademarked, they must get a license from the owner of that trademark. Those who believe that another party has engaged in trademark infringement may take legal action to put a halt to such activity.
A plaintiff must show that he or she owns a valid mark and has priority rights to it. Registering a trademark generally results in the legal assumption that the first two criteria have been met. However, it is not necessary to register a trademark to obtain at least partial legal protection against infringement. Furthermore, it must be shown that another mark is similar enough that it could cause confusion among customers.
Typically, a court will order an injunction that prevents an infringing party from continuing to use marks that are similar to those already trademarked. A court may also require the infringing party to pay the trademark holder's attorney fees as well as any profits that were obtained from illegal use of the trademarked property. Items that illegally make use of trademarked property might also need to be destroyed after an infringement case has been resolved.
In many cases, a jingle, phrase or logo can be protected with a trademark. However, the trademark will not be worth as much if it is not defended. Therefore, those who suspect that they are the victims of trademark infringement may want to hire an attorney and take the matter to court. It could be possible to settle the matter outside of court by entering into a licensing deal or similar sort of agreement.