Anyone who participates or aids in the infringement can be joined in a law suit.  Most "infringers" do not intentionally decide to use a mark that infringed on the mark of another.  Rather, they do not take the time to do a search to see if there is anyone else out there who could claim that they are infringing on a pre-existing mark.  The real damage that can occur by suddenly receiving a letter that claims you are infringing on another person's mark is not always the threat of litigation, which is substantial in itself, but the difficult-to-accept conclusion that you need to change or alter the mark you have invested time, money and effort in developing.  You should never consciously adopt a mark that might infringe someone else's (McBagel's for example), or decide to invest in one of your own without doing a trademark search.

Law Offices of Douglas Clark Hollmann

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