Any business in California or elsewhere takes trademark infringement very seriously. Companies work hard to produce products that will be well-received by consumers, so hearing that another company has been selling items under your brand name can be infuriating. Fortunately, instances of trademark infringement can be stopped with the right legal tools and knowledge.
Recently, DuPont, owner of the well-known Kevlar brand found itself in this situation. Last year, DuPont accused a cycling equipment company based in California of illegally labeling products with the Kevlar name. The California company, Easton-Bell, claimed it had purchased Kevlar from resellers and distributors who were authorized to sell the ultra-strong synthetic fiber product. Concerned that consumers were being misled, DuPont filed a lawsuit against Easton-Bell.
Although Easton-Bell initially sought a declaratory judgement, arguing that it had not committed trademark infringement, the two companies ultimately came to an agreement. Recently, Easton-Bell and DuPont settled the federal lawsuit, dismissing the business litigation. According to the settlement, Easton-Bell was required to pay royalties and settlement fees to DuPont, but it was authorized to sell Kevlar products that were approved by DuPont.
Trademark infringement is a serious issue that many business owners in California feel strongly about, and for good reason. If you learn that another business is marketing your product as its own, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Armed with the right legal knowledge, it is possible to secure a favorable outcome that protects your brand and the work you have put into establishing it.
Source: Delaware Online, DuPont settles Kevlar dispute Cori Anne Natoli, Oct. 21, 2013