Who Can Sue for Trademark Infringement?23-05-10
Who Can Enforce Intellectual Property Rights? Intellectual property rights can not be enforced by anyone. Enforcement rights are granted by trademark laws in different countries and by case law (common law in these countries). If intellectual property rights have been infringed, then the first determination an IP owner must have is whether you have "standing" to sue under the law, in this case, we are guiding trademark law. Trademark rights are jurisdictional rights afforded by a country. Therefore the response to this question may change from one country to the other. But in general, the two parties who have standing to sue for trademark infringement are: 1. The owner of a trademark (registered or unregistered) may sue for trademark infringement. (the key question here is who is the owner of the mark, and how can they prove that) 2. The Licensee/franchisee of the trademark, (the owner of the commercial right to exploit the trademark) may also have the right to sue for infringement. However, this will depend on two factors, a. whether the contract you have signed to commercialize the trademark provides you with rights to sue. b. Whether the owner wants to sue or not. In some cases, if a trademark owner does not sue within a specific period, then the licensee can do so but should include the trademark owner in the proceedings. This response can not be construed as legal advice.