Trademark protections provide the trademark owner the ability to fight back if another business or individual tries to use their trademark for profit. This is true whether that business is a small, mom-and-pop type shop or a massive corporation.
In a recent example, a relatively small fitness brand is taking on lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret. The fitness brand, IFIT Inc., has accused Victoria’s Secret of using its SWEAT trademark on a new line of fitness clothing. The language of IFIT’s trademark provides protection of the SWEAT trademark in relation to exercise and fitness apparel, promotion of fitness services, and encouraging a fitness-based lifestyle. As such, they are taking Victoria’s Secret to court to enforce their trademark protections.
What legal remedies are available in this type of case?
Those who hold a trademark and establish that another business or individual is in violation of that trademark can ask the court to issue an injunction. This would result in a court order for the violating business to stop whatever action is in violation of the trademark. In the case discussed above, IFIT has asked to court to require Victoria’s Secret to stop using the trademark.
IFIT has also asked the court to grant damages, or monetary awards. It has requested damages as allowed by law as well as additional punitive damages, or those intended to punish the business for violating the trademark, at three times the amount of Victoria’s Secret’s profit off the trademark use or IFIT’s damages, whichever is greater, as well as attorney fees, interest, and any other awards the court deems just.