Close

Trademark Infringement

Trademark Collage Big

The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) officially records and maintains government records documenting federally registered trademark owners as the exclusive source for their particular products and/or services that the trademark owner regulates and controls to their standards.

Trademark infringers and trademark counterfeiters confusingly imply, suggest or otherwise represent to consumers that they are associated with, affiliated with, approved by, licensed by or endorsed by the trademark owner and thus misrepresent material fact to consumers in a dishonest manner calculated for advantage when they suggest, imply or otherwise represent that they are a source for things which they are not.

Trademark Collage Big

Federally Registered Trademarks belong to their respective owners who reserve all rights

A trademark is a brand name.

A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.

Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including 1) notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, 2) legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and 3) exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.

Trademarks are symbols or words used to identify a product or service as originating from a specific source. Registered trademarks are marks that have been recorded with the Federal government and are afforded specific legal protections.  Registered trademarks can feature the Federal registration symbol. ®

The Lanham ActThe Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 and the Anti-counterfeiting Consumer Protection Act of 1996 address the trafficking in counterfeit trademarked goods and services and provide remedies up to and including felony criminal penalties.

In the martial arts realm, when trademark infringement is coupled with foreign language words and complex phrases describing martial art school names, martial art system names, or martial art school/system logos then the potential for consumer fraud is very high.

The Martial Art Fraud website provides direct links to a number of different reporting agencies dedicated to protecting consumers from fraud and criminal activity. If you discover these illegal activities taking place in your community we encourage you to report them.

 


Trademark Infringement and Counterfeiting

The Martial Art Fraud website provides information to help you identify and verify if the following types of fraud and/or criminal activity are present:

  1. trademark infringement fraud
  2. trademark counterfeiting fraud which can be a felony criminal offense.
  3. trademark counterfeiting conspiracy fraud which is a federal felony criminal offense for all parties.

Trademark infringers essentially steal the public identity of a trademark owner and use  the registered trademarks without a license from the trademark owner. By using or infringing well known trademarks, they confuse and deceive consumers and attract prospective new students with deceptive advertising practices involving  infringing web sites, signage, banners, promotional literature, application forms, counterfeit rank certificates, etc.

Trademark infringers misrepresent material fact to consumers when they use registered trademarks without a license from the trademark owner.

Trademark infringement is dishonesty calculated for the infringer’s advantage.

Trademark infringement and counterfeiting are violations of federal laws and are subject to federal civil and criminal penalties.

Affixing a registered trademark to a product or service without the trademark owner’s knowledge or a license from the trademark owner is an intentional illegal act of trademark counterfeiting.

Trademark counterfeiting is a criminal offense up to a felony.

Trademark counterfeiting conspiracy is present when multiple martial art instructors or schools traffic in trademark counterfeited items, such as patches, flags, banners, rank certificates, etc. and is a federal felony criminal offense for all involved parties.

Misrepresentation of a material fact is the first element of proof required in legally proving fraud and it is relatively easy to verify that a trademark infringer is not the owner of, or a licensed user of, the registered trademarks they are using without a license from the trademark owner.

Consumers who have been induced to enroll at a martial art studio under false pretenses as a result of trademark infringement or trademark counterfeiting may have grounds for legal recourse against the infringer or counterfeiter unless you actually intended to receive counterfeit services and counterfeit credentials.

Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights of a trademark owner when a trademark is used without authorization of the trademark owner.

Trademark infringement may occur when one party, the “infringer”, uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another party, in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers.

The owner of a federally registered trademark may initiate legal proceedings in federal court against a party who infringes its registered trademark.

Trademark Counterfeiting is an illegal act that can be a felony criminal offense.

Trademark counterfeiting conspiracy is a illegal act that is a federal felony criminal offense.

You can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud by a martial art school or instructor with a bit of due diligence:

  1. Identify
  2. Verify
  3. Testify

The Martial Art Fraud website provides direct links to a number of different reporting agencies dedicated to protecting consumers from fraud and criminal activity. If you discover these illegal activities taking place in your community we encourage you to report them.


Verifying Trademark Ownership

With a minimum amount of due diligence you can easily determine if material fact is being misrepresented and if these particular types of fraud are being perpetrated by verifying the name of the registered owner of the:

  1. martial art school name
  2. martial art system name
  3. martial art system logo

You can then quickly conduct a bit of due diligence by searching through 3rd party references and/or government references to discover if any of these are items are registered trademarks.

If any of them are returned in your search results, then you can verify the trademark owner’s name and if the owner’s or their licensed user list does not match the martial art school or instructor displaying the marks, then fraud is occurring and you have factual evidence.

  1. U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) (results depend on correct use of the search feature)
  2. Trademarkia (provides a very simple search feature and accesses most records of the  U.S.P.T.O.)
  3. others

Suggestions for protecting yourself from trademark related fraud include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Identify – (Recognize fraudulent circumstances)
  2. Verify  –  (Perform a bit of due diligence to confirm if fraud is present)
  3. Testify – (Report fraudulent circumstances to authorities)

The Martial Art Fraud website provides direct links to a number of different reporting agencies dedicated to protecting consumers from fraud and criminal activity. If you discover these illegal activities taking place in your community we encourage you to report them.

If you discover that you are a victim of trademark infringement fraud, trademark counterfeiting fraud or a trademark counterfeiting conspiracy, please report it.

 


Martial Arts Fraud’s website provides information intended to help you proactively 1) recognize and identify circumstances with a high potential for you to become a victim of fraud, 2) verify factual evidence of fraud and 3) report evidence of fraud to appropriate agencies and authorities. Disclaimer

 

Martial Art Fraud

Martial Arts Fraud is a public service initiative sponsored by the non-profit U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation. This website provides educational information about specific circumstances with a high potential for consumers to be defrauded when searching for and selecting a martial art school as well as for students who are already enrolled at a martial art school and discover that any of the discussed illegal acts are present.

Leave a Reply