Type: Business
Pages: 3 | Words: 626
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

This topic guides the relations governing the aspects of a business. It consists of the legal provisions that provide frameworks for the determination of disputes concerning business undertakings. In this paper, a discussion on the law guiding and regulating trade patents and trademarks is presented. The case in point involves Marie Nivelle who grew up in Lafayette Parish, Lousiana. She makes hot sauces using a recipe that she learnt from her grandmother. She moved to San Diego in 1951 and in 1953, she started selling bottles of her sauce to the local restaurants and supermarkets, which in turn sold them to the final consumers, which was the public.

She gave her products the trade mark, MARIE’S LOUSIANA HOT SAUCE’. Her business is said to have grown and become successful. Her products were selling in supermarkets and restaurants throughout San Diego County. Marie is seen to have greatly benefitted from the business though she is not said to have done any registration of the trademark so that it could legally be her property as envisaged in the intellectual property context.

The second party to the dispute under discussion in this paper goes by the names of Marie Foch. She lived in Acacia Parish, Lousiana, where she was brought up but moved to San Francisco. In 1957, she began selling bottles of hot sauce which she made using a recipe she learnt from her grandmother. She, just like the other party, Marie, sold her products to restaurants and supermarkets in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties all of which border San Francisco Bay.

She gave her business products the trade mark, ‘MARIE’S CAJUN HOT SAUCE’. Hers was also a successful business. Unlike Marie Nivelle, Marie Foch registered her trademark with the relevant authorities in 1965. Marie Foch has now filed a suit seeking orders of injunction against Marie Nivelle against the use of the trademark and seeking damages for the use already made. In this case, Marie Nivelle was the first to use her trademark for her business since she got into the business earlier. However, she never registered the name of her products as a trademark so that it becomes her legally protected intellectual property. Whether she failed to do this due to ignorance or laxity is contestable. The law only recognizes the registered one, as the owner with exclusive rights against any other persons who may be out to confuse or mislead customers for financial gain.

Marie Foch, came to the business later, but followed the formal and legal way to register the trademark now in contention as her property. The reason for the suit is that all the names are just similar before the eyes of an average customer. One must therefore give way for the other, as the law cannot recognize both of them since that would be inappropriate (Sell, 2003). The law recognizes the registered one, and that is exactly what Marie Foch did. The ruling would therefore be granted in Marie Foch’s favor requiring. This would require Marie Neville to desist from using the trademark. She would also be required to pay damages to the plaintiff for the loss suffered due to the illegal use of the trademark by Marie Neville.

In 1990, Foch began selling her products in San Diego County. Neville has sued for orders of injunction and damages against Foch. In this suit, these orders cannot be granted since Foch remains the registered owner of the name and cannot be stopped from using it. The damages cannot also be awarded based on the same reasoning as above. The law on trademarks works only where one is registered as the owner. Therefore, an individual must first strive to get his name registered before considering himself as the rightful owner of a trademark.

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