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Types of trademark infringement

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Trademark Law

A trademark is a vital piece of intellectual property that helps distinguish goods and services of one business from those of another. Trademarks can get infringed upon in various ways, undermining the brand’s identity and causing potential harm to the business’s reputation and financial standing.

If you are an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to understand the different types of trademark infringement to protect your brand effectively and take appropriate legal action when necessary.


This is where a third party creates an exact copy or a very close imitation of your trademark, intending to deceive consumers into believing that they are purchasing genuine goods or services. Counterfeit products are often of lower quality, which can damage the reputation and trustworthiness of the original brand. This form of infringement is typically associated with physical goods such as luxury items, electronics and pharmaceuticals, but can also occur with digital products and services.

Passing off

Passing off occurs when a business misrepresents its goods or services as being associated with another brand. This type of infringement relies on the reputation of the original trademark and aims to confuse consumers into believing there is a connection between the two businesses. It does not require a registered trademark but depends on the established goodwill of the original brand.


Dilution involves the unauthorized use of a famous trademark in a way that diminishes its uniqueness and reputation. This can happen through blurring, where the distinctiveness of the trademark is weakened by its association with different products or tarnishment, where the mark is linked with inferior or inappropriate goods and services. Dilution can occur even if there is no direct competition or consumer confusion.

Contributory infringement

This type of infringement occurs when a party knowingly assists or encourages another party to infringe on a trademark. This can include manufacturers, distributors or online platforms that facilitate the sale of counterfeit or infringing products. The key aspect of contributory infringement is the knowledge and active participation in the infringing activities.

Legal guidance is important when dealing with trademark infringement issues to better ensure that your rights are adequately protected and to handle the intricacies of trademark law.