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Trade mark infringement - intellectual property law

Trade marks are used to distinguish the product or service of one seller from another seller. Once registered, the owner of the trade mark has exclusive rights to its use. This could be a logo, wording, tagline or slogan, shapes, and even a colour or sound. 

Trade mark infringement relates to the unauthorised use of a registered trade mark by any third party. There are various degrees of infringement, all of which can result in the rights owner persuing monetary compensation, known as damages.

The following trade mark violations are cited in the Trade Marks Act 1994:

  • An unauthorised third party utilises a trade mark that is identical to a registered trade mark and placed on like-for-like goods and services. It must be reproduced without modification – even minor modifications unnoticeable from the average consumer’s perspective will be considered identical for the purposes of trade mark infringement. [Section 10(1) ]
  • Where an unauthorised third party places an identical registered trade mark on similar goods and services or a similar trade mark on identical goods and services, creating confusion as to the origin of the goods or services and the possibility of an association between the two trade marks. [Section 10(2)(a) & (b)]
  • Where an unauthorised third party uses an identical or similar trade mark on goods or services which are not similar, but benefit from the registered trade mark’s existing reputation and therefore gaining an unfair advantage; and operating to the detriment of the registered trade mark’s character. [Section 10(3)]


If you believe your trade mark has been infringed call us today for a free initial chat with our intellectual property lawyers on 0207 234 0200 or contact us online. You can also read our blog for more information about intellectual property law.



Return to intellectual property law glossary here.