As you recall, a trademark (or mark) is a distinct word, phrase, design, scent, or even sound that identifies a good or service in the market place. Part of the process of registering your trademark is to make sure your mark is not so similar to another registered or protected mark that your use of the mark violates the protected right of another company. A mark that is the same or confusingly similar to a registered mark violates the rights of the mark’s owner.
Well, what happens if your trademark DOES violate the rights of another mark? This is called “infringement” and it can cost you a truck load of money!
If you infringe on someone else’s trademark, either by accident or on purpose, the other person or company can sue you. If you lose, you could be ordered to pay the other side’s legal fees in addition to the fees you pay your own lawyer to represent you. You may also be liable for fines AND may have to give up all profits you obtained while using the infringing trademark.
Finally, you could have to discard any product inventory displaying the mark and bear the cost of re-branding your new product identity.
It is critical that you ensure you are not infringing on the trademark that is registered by another person or entity.