The FAQs in this section provide some information about trademarks. This includes what trademarks do and don’t protect, how you can avoid infringing the trademarks of other people when posting to Ucroo and how Ucroo addresses reports of trademark infringement.
Please note that laws in different countries may vary. For more information on trademark law, you can visit the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Ucroo can’t provide you with legal advice, so you may want to speak with an attorney if you have more questions about trademarks.
The availability of this document should not be construed as rendering legal or other professional advice, and this document is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of a qualified attorney.
What are trademarks and what do they protect?
A trademark is a word, slogan, symbol or design (for example, a brand name or logo) that a person or company uses to distinguish their products or services from those offered by others. A trademark is protectable when it’s used in a distinctive way to identify a product or service.
Generally, trademark law seeks to protect consumers from being confused about who provides, endorses or is affiliated with a particular product or service. To prevent this situation, a trademark owner may be able to stop others from using their trademark (or a similar trademark) without permission if that use may cause confusion.
Not all terms are subject to trademark protection under the law. Protection depends on a variety of factors, including how unique, generic or descriptive the trademark is and the manner that it’s used. In addition, many trademark owners obtain registrations for their trademarks under relevant law, but registration may not be necessary for a trademark to be protected.
Please note that Ucroo can’t adjudicate disputes between third parties, and so we wouldn’t be in a position to act on trademark reports that require an in-depth trademark analysis. This is also the case for trademark reports that appear to involve a real-world dispute that wouldn’t be resolved by any action that Ucroo could take. In these situations, rather than contacting Ucroo, you may want to reach out directly to the party that you believe is infringing your rights, or seek any resolution in court or by other judicial means. If you’re sure you want to report content on Ucroo that you believe infringes your trademark, you can do so by completing following the steps listed on the bottom of this page.
What is trademark infringement?
Generally, trademark infringement occurs when:
- A person uses a trademark owner’s trademark (or similar trademark) without permission
- That person’s use is in commerce, meaning that it’s done in connection with the sale or promotion of goods or services AND
- That use is likely to confuse consumers about the source, endorsement or affiliation of the person’s goods or services
The point of infringement is often “likelihood of confusion,” and there are many factors that are considered to determine if a use of a trademark is likely to cause confusion.Please note that the law in different countries relating to trademark rights and trademark infringement can vary. If you’re not sure if a particular use of a trademark would be considered infringement, you may want to consult with an attorney.
Does a trademark need to be registered to be protected?
It depends. In the U.S., a trademark can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Federal registrations with the USPTO establish trademark rights as of a certain date and provide a presumption that the registrant owns a valid trademark, among other things. For these reasons, trademark owners often obtain USPTO registrations.
Outside the U.S., many other countries have adopted similar systems, including the ability for trademark owners to register their trademarks. Both in the U.S. and in other countries, depending on the relevant laws, a trademark owner may still have certain rights without a registration. Typically, a trademark owner’s rights without a registration (often known as common law rights) may be weaker than rights that are subject to a registration. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that registering a company with a government office or getting a permit to do business in a specific country or state (for example, a business registration) usually doesn’t itself create a trademark right.
How long does a trademark protection last?
Trademark rights may last indefinitely, but only if the trademark owner continues to use the trademark in commerce to identify their products or services. If a trademark owner stops using the trademark, or if it isn’t used properly, they might lose their trademark rights. Please also note that for trademarks that are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), issued registrations must be renewed periodically. The laws in other jurisdictions may vary.
Are there any limits to trademark rights?
Not all uses of a trademark without permission of the trademark owner are necessarily an infringement of that trademark. The use of a trademark is only infringing if it’s likely to confuse people regarding the source, endorsement or affiliation of products or services. So, if a trademark is used in a way that is unlikely to cause consumer confusion, it’s generally not considered infringing.
Simply referring to a trademark for the purpose of discussing the product or service offered probably won’t be an infringing use of the trademark, as long as that reference doesn’t use more of the trademark than is needed to make its point. In fact, you might need to use the trademark to describe or comment on a particular product or service. This is known as the doctrine of nominative fair use, read more here.
Trademark rights are generally limited to the geographic territory where the trademark owner uses the trademark to identify their goods or services. For example, if a trademark owner uses a trademark to refer to their restaurant in Country A, they likely won’t be able to prevent another person from using the same term to refer to their own restaurant in Country B.
How can I make sure the content I post to Ucroo doesn't violate trademark laws?
Under Ucroo's Community Standards, you can only post content to Ucroo if it doesn’t violate the intellectual property rights of another party, including trademarks. Please note that as a Ucroo user, you are responsible for the content you post. If your content violates Ucroo's policies or is reported to Ucroo as infringing the intellectual property rights of another party, Ucroo may remove that content.
- Before you post content, you might want to ask:
- Have I used someone else’s trademark to sell or promote goods or services in a way that may confuse people?
- Does my use of a trademark only refer to someone else’s goods or services, or make some other type of non-infringing use of the trademark?
If you have questions about trademark law or whether your content infringes another party’s trademark rights, you may want to contact an attorney.
Content I posted was removed becaues it was reported for intellectual property. What are my next steps?
When we receive a report from a rights owner claiming content on Ucroo infringes their intellectual property rights, we may need to promptly remove that content from Ucroo without contacting you first.
If we remove content you posted because of an intellectual property report through our online form, you’ll receive a notification from Ucroo that includes the name and email of the rights owner who made the report and/or the details of the report. If you believe the content shouldn’t have been removed, you can follow up with them directly to try to resolve the issue.
If you're an admin on a Group, and content another admin posted on the Group was removed due to an intellectual property report, you'll receive a notification with information about the content that was removed, as well as the name of the admin on the Group who posted it.
If the content was removed under the notice and counter-notice procedures of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), you may be able to file a DMCA counter-notification.
How do I report trademark infringement on Ucroo?
Ucroo can’t adjudicate disputes between third parties, and so we wouldn’t be in a position to act on trademark reports that require an in-depth trademark analysis or a real-world dispute outside of Ucroo. In these situations, rather than contacting Ucroo, you may want to reach out directly to the party that you believe is infringing your rights, or seek any resolution in court or by other judicial means. If you’re sure you want to report content on Ucroo that you believe infringes your trademark, you can do so by following the steps listed below.
Please note that submitting a claim of trademark infringement is a serious matter with potential legal consequences. Before you submit a report, you may want to send a message to the person who posted the content and resolve the issue with them directly. You may be able to resolve the issue without contacting Ucroo.
Remember, only the trademark owner or their authorized representative may file a report of trademark infringement. If you believe something on Ucroo infringes someone else’s trademark, you may want to let the rights owner know.
Please note that we regularly provide the rights owner’s name, your email and the details of your report to the person who posted the content you are reporting. This person may contact you with the information you provide. You may wish to provide a valid generic business or professional email for this reason.
- Who owns the trademark?
- Where is your trademark registered?
- What is your trademark registration number (if applicable)?
- If possible, provie a URL leading directly to your trademark registration
- If possible, please provide a scanned copy of your trademark registration certificate(s) or screenshot of your registration on the website or database of the applicable national or community intellectual property office(s). Please note that we only support the following file formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and PDF.
- What type of content are you reporting? (ex. Video, group, photo, post)
- If possible, provide the poster's name and URL of that post or group.
- Please describe in a short paragraph how you believe this infringes on your trademark rights.
- Declaration Statement: By submitting this notice, you state: that you have a good faith belief that the reported use described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the intellectual property rights owner, its agent, or the law; that the information contained in this notice is accurate; and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the intellectual property rights at issue.
- Signature and Date
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing address US:
- 3001 Brighton Blvd. Suite 2760
- Denver, CO 80216
- Mailing address AU:
- 398 Johnston St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia