Trademarks in Texas need to be identifiable and unique. Businesses in your area are competing for the identities they have, so slogans, branded images and trademarks have to stand out and be appealing. Your strategy, however, achieves nothing if someone already has the design concept you’ve chosen. Even having a similar mascot could infringe on public trademarks or copyrights.
Why original ideas matter
The Cleveland Indians team is using the 2021-post season to set in motion a change of trademarks. The “Indian” moniker is being changed, but there’s a challenge that the baseball organization faces. In its same city, a roller derby team already has the name that Cleveland wants for its baseball team.
The roller derby Guardians are put in a position that could work against their own marketing. Should Cleveland residents become accustomed to knowing about the baseball Guardians, the city’s roller derby Guardians may lose a marketing edge. The trademarks being pursued by these different teams bring to mind why original IP is important.
Cost of trademark infringement
In the case of the Cleveland Guardians, a deal was made between the two teams involved. A settlement outside of court was reached. This gives the Cleveland Indians a right to use the Guardian as its trademark. Without such permission, the penalties of infringement include:
- Monetary fines: Penalties could reach as high as $150,000 for each infringement.
- Imprisonment: Though infringement receives as little as six months’ time, three years is the max.
- Injunction orders: Infringement gives a court the right to rule an injunction against the offending party, disabling them from using a concept or idea.
Trademarks in Texas
Disputing or protecting a trademark starts with properly filing yours. In most cases, similar concepts can be detected from within a public database. Being honest about what you register and why can protect you later on. Additionally, making a timely, expedient filing may help you to dispute claims for your intellectual property.