Woodstock, NY asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York

Q: Netflix has stolen my registered trademark. How can I afford to take them to court?

They have used my TM in their highly profitable cartoon and refuse to remove it claiming freedom of expression rights over my TM rights. However, according to the Lanham Act, the manner in which they are using it violates my rights. They've threatened to sue me in court if they win.

1 Lawyer Answer
T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky
Answered

A: Wow! It sounds like you actually have valid trademark infringement case against Netflix. This is big time. If you do have a registered trademark and the use of the trademark infringes your trademark, you are on the side of the angels. In certain trademark infringement cases, monetary relief may be awarded, which would include: Netflix’s profits using your trademark, your damages, and the costs of litigating. Treble damages may be awarded in cases where such gross negligence was used by the defendant that willful infringement was committed. It seems to me that they have open themselves to treble damages, if they acknowledge the infringement by posturing that they plan to take you to court.

I would hope that you have written them a cease and desist letter. You will need this notice, before you can start formal legal action. Trademark suits are generally litigated in Federal Court.

You need to find an attorney who is licensed to practice in Federal Court. Once they hear your story, and recognize the amount of the claim, an attorney would probably take this case on contingency. If not, look for an attorney who will take this case on contingency.

Based on what you stated, I doubt if this case will make it to trial. They will most likely settle with you beforehand.

And, don't worry about the harsh words from the other side's legal department. They are only trying to intimidate you, so you do nothing. Remember, you are on side of the angels.

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