Trademark Ownership Disputes

Trademark ownership disputes occur when multiple parties claim rights to the same trademark or similar trademarks. This can happen due to various reasons, including similar trademarks used in the same industry or unclear ownership documentation.

Common Causes

  • Similar or identical trademarks used by different entities in related industries.
  • Inadequate record-keeping or documentation regarding trademark ownership.
  • Lack of clarity in ownership due to changes in business structure or ownership transfers.

Trademark Infringement Disputes

Trademark infringement disputes arise when one party alleges that another party’s use of a trademark is likely to cause confusion among consumers regarding the source of goods or services. Infringement can occur through unauthorized use of a registered trademark or a confusingly similar mark.

Common Causes

  • Unauthorized use of a registered trademark or a similar mark.
  • Similarities in branding leading to consumer confusion.
  • Use of a trademark in a way that dilutes the distinctive quality of a famous mark.

Trademark Licensing Disputes

Trademark licensing disputes involve disagreements between the licensor (owner of the trademark) and the licensee (authorized user) regarding the terms of the licensing agreement or the extent of the licensee’s rights.

Common Causes

  • Breach of contract, such as failure to pay royalties or comply with quality standards.
  • Disputes over territorial rights or exclusivity clauses.
  • Unauthorized sublicensing or use of the trademark beyond the scope of the license.

Trademark Registration Disputes

Trademark registration disputes involve challenges to the validity or scope of a trademark registration before administrative bodies such as trademark offices or courts.

Common Causes

  • Opposition proceedings filed by third parties against a trademark application.
  • Cancellation proceedings seeking to invalidate a trademark registration.
  • Disputes over the distinctiveness or descriptive nature of a proposed trademark.

Trademark Portfolio Management Disputes

Trademark portfolio management disputes involve conflicts related to the strategic management and enforcement of a company’s trademark portfolio.

Common Causes

  • Conflicting strategies within the organization regarding trademark selection and registration.
  • Disagreements over resource allocation for trademark enforcement activities.
  • Challenges in coordinating trademark protection efforts across multiple jurisdictions.


Who can participate in trademark dispute mediation?

Any parties involved in a trademark dispute, including trademark owners, alleged infringers, licensees, and other relevant stakeholders, can participate in trademark dispute mediation.

What are the benefits of trademark dispute mediation?

Benefits include cost-effectiveness, efficiency, confidentiality, flexibility, and the potential to preserve ongoing business relationships.

Is trademark dispute mediation legally binding?

The resulting settlement agreement is legally binding once signed by the parties involved, though the mediation process itself is non-binding.

How long does trademark dispute mediation take?

Duration varies based on complexity but can typically be completed in weeks or months compared to litigation.

Are attorneys involved in trademark dispute mediation?

Attorneys can participate to provide legal advice, but parties may also participate without representation.

Where does trademark dispute mediation take place?

It can occur at a neutral location agreed upon by the parties, such as a mediator’s office or virtual platform.

How can parties initiate trademark dispute mediation?

Parties can initiate by mutually agreeing to participate and selecting a qualified mediator experienced in trademark law.