Infringing a trademark means that you are using someone else’s mark - like a name or logo -for your product or service - or adopting a mark that is similar to another mark for goods and services that are also similar.
Got it? Similar product with same name or similar name with same product.
Basically, you don’t want to step on another company’s toes! (And you don’t want to let them step on yours!). That’s - at a simple level - what infringement is.If a trademark is infringed upon - the trademark owner can do several things:
1. they can ask the other party to stop using the trademark (usually starting with a “cease and desist” letter);
2. they can sue them, to get them to stop - called an injunction -
or occasionally get money damages.
If someone tries to register a mark similar to yours you can oppose the trademark application. In this situation there would be an opposition proceeding during which the Trademark Office would adjudicate whether that person should be permitted to register their mark. This is not fun - much better to focus on building your business!
So if you are registering or adopting a new mark, do a search to make sure you’re not infringing!