What constitutes trademark infringement?

UPDATED: May 26, 2012

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What constitutes trademark infringement?

Let’s assume, I start a business named, ‘mode’ but someone has already started a similar business named “mod.” Though, my(MODE will have a different identity, focusing strictly on Beauty and Health and also, it will have a slogan above the name MODE identifying it as a beauty and health business. While, their business MOD focuses on style and fashion. Can that be trademark infringement, though they haven’t registered as a trademark?

Asked on May 26, 2012 under Business Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In a trademark infringement case, the party suing (the plaintiff) has the burden of proving that the other party's (defendant's) use of a mark has created a "likelihood-of-confusion" about the good or services provided by the defendant.  That is a simplified version.  The court will look at a varitey of factors to determine that liklihood.  Courts decide these matters on a case by case basis.  I think you may be okay here but that is based upon the little information given.  Good luck. 

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