the Trademark Resource for Start-Ups, Business Owners, Marketing Professionals, In-House Counsel, and Attorneys


Pending Trademark Applications & Litigation

It seems axiomatic that a federal district court has jurisdiction to decide whether a pending federal trademark application can be registered or not. Yet, the truth is a federal district court only has power over pending federal trademark applications under certain circumstances.

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Picture of a basketball court behind home. Sue in your home court.

This is the fourth and final part in Where to Sue Trademark Infringers series. We've considered general jurisdiction, specific jurisdiction, and venue. Now that we've gone over the governing rules of law, the last question to answer is, where do I file the complaint for trademark infringement?

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Picture of a venue with text that reads Venue: picking a judicial district. Trademark Well.

When filing a complaint for trademark infringement, the plaintiff should make sure that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case and the court is a proper venue for the lawsuit. More specifically, jurisdiction refers to a court's legal authority to hear a case (i.e., the power to adjudicate the action) whereas venue refers to where jurisdiction should or may be exercised (i.e., the location where the lawsuit should take place). continue reading→

Image of a Target on the State of California

In the last blog post, we concluded that, under the principles of general jurisdiction, a trademark owner can sue an infringer where the infringer is essentially at home in the forum state. For a company, this means the state in which the company was formed or the state in which the company has its principal place of business. For an individual, this means the state in which the individual resides. But what if the trademark owner isn't located in the same state that has general jurisdiction over the trademark infringer? Then it's time to examine whether specific jurisdiction exists in the state in which the trademark owner is located (which is presumably where the trademark owner would like to file suit). continue reading→

Where to Sue Trademark Infringers. Picture of house by Trademark Well.

OK. You've got a trademark infringer who won't play nice. The cease and desist letter (or letters) didn't work. Attempts to resolve the dispute through calm, reasonable phone communications fared no better. You are resigned to the fact that you are either going to let the infringer get away with it or you are going to have to sue. And when you get the chance to sit it out or sue—I hope you sue . . . I hope you sue. continue reading→