Use Your Intellect
You just got a call from one of your top customers, Rinky Dinky Donut Company. Rinky Dinky asks you to produce a large number of donut boxes and bags for its coffee beans. Instead of putting the usual Rinky Dinky name and logo on the boxes, you are instructed to use the name and logo of Dunkin’ Donuts, and are provided with the required graphics and text. You assume Rinky Dinky is working on a collaboration with Dunkin’ Donuts, but fail to verify this. What you don’t know is that Rinky Dinky has no authorization to use Dunkin’ Donuts’ name or logo. You have now officially walked into an intellectual property minefield that could cost your company dearly. In fact, liability for trademark infringement is not limited to those who actually sell products with misappropriated trademarks. Liability can extend to middlemen who merely supply the products and companies that facilitate the infringement. And, damages (or amounts offenders may be liable to pay to intellectual property owners) can be hefty. Being forewarned about these concepts is being forearmed.