Trademark Infringement is against the law.
Use of got beef? ® under the trademark owner’s class codes without proper licensing is subject to legal ramifications. Read this page to answer some common questions as it pertains to this from our Legal Team …
Question: What if I didn’t know got beef?was trademarked and I have been using this mark on the items ?
Answer: Many people do not know certain terms are licensed, yet it is up to the individual or company to use due diligence before using or selling items that contain (marks, slogans, images, etc) that are trademarked. You should stop using the mark immediately, or be subject to legal ramifications.
Question: How much is Licensing? Will this avoid legal ramifications? How can I apply?
Answer: The Got Beef? trademark owners will work that out with you, if licensing is available for your products. If you are unsure if your products need to be licensed, you should contact the trademark owners. Perhaps it is something that is not in their class codes. However, if it’s in mugs, housewares or apparel, then you should remove all items immediately from commerce; then apply for licensing. It is not guaranteed they will offer it. The trademark owners have final say whether to allow use of their slogan on a particular product.
Question: I don’t understand if I have applied for licensing why I am getting turned down. I don’t mind paying a fair percentage or good faith deposit. In fact, I don’t even think they are producing this product this year, so why can’t I?
Answer: Trademark owners reserve the right to determine what , or if they want their mark on certain items. They may choose not to produce any items with the mark in the future, at all. It’s their legal right.
Question: I don’t know if my item is subject to licensing. I make ____,
Answer: Trademarks in general are done by the class codes. You can check on the USPTO website to see current class codes. Or, you can contact the trademark owners for more information.
Question: I don’t understand if I have been using the mark for awhile, but I see notes where the trademark process started in 2013– why am I getting an email or electronic message telling me to stop using it? I’m selling on a site that took the items down.
Answer: Trademarks in general are often protected by the first use in commerce. It is important that any electronic communications such as emails that you may be receiving or notices that your items were removed from a site (like Amazon) may be serving as legal notifications that you are using the mark unlawfully.
Question: What happens if I just keep using it?
If you ignore requests to stop using the mark (often called Cease and Desist letters), or if you have had your items removed and received notification why, by ignoring them you are subject to intentional infringement, Penalties and punishment may include but are not limited to court costs and legal fees on your end, and the Trademark Owner’s.
Not to mention if the site you are selling on finds that you have violated terms of service, then your account is subject to removal, termination of penalties as indicated by the TOS of that site. If for any reason, that site would come under fire in any way you can be sure they may also sue you for their legal fees and court costs.
Not to mention an award of your profits earned during use of the mark may be subject to payment to the Trademark Owner. It is best to cease use and try to obtain licensing should you wish to sell the items