Generally, the answer is no. Most trademark infringement cases are based on federal trademark laws and are filed in federal courts. There are federal courts in every state. While it is true that lawyers are generally licensed to practice law in the state where they live, attorneys that handle cases based on federal law can handle cases in any federal court. There can be some practical difficulties — such as appearing before a federal judge in a distant state. But, the experienced trademark attorney handling your trademark infringement case can hire a local attorney to handle the case management and other routine court calls. Also, federal courts are increasingly allowing court appearances via phone and other electronic methods. This is another option for handling the minor practical difficulties.
Because of this, if you need to file a trademark infringement case in federal court, the best practice is to hire the most experienced and proven trademark law firm that you can regardless of location. Revision Legal is one such trademark law firm and we encourage you to call us for a consultation at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474. We handle complex trademark litigation across the country. If you are searching for the “best Trademark Law Firm,” call us.
The other reason for hiring the best trademark law firm that you can is that where to file the trademark infringement case is never obvious. This is because the question of where the infringement occurred can be a debatable factual question. More importantly, where the infringement occurred is not the only question that a court will evaluate when determining which court is the proper court to handle the case. Legally, the question of which court is the proper court is called the question of VENUE. With federal trademark law, there is nothing in the trademark statute that defines which court has the proper venue. Thus, the federal courts look to various factors to determine where the venue is proper. It must also be noted that more than one court location could be considered a proper venue. This provides some options for a plaintiff who is filing a trademark infringement case.
As noted, where the infringement took place is one factor federal courts consider for determining proper venue. But, by nature and definition, trademark infringement can occur in many different places particularly if the internet is involved or if there has been broad-based advertising or if the relevant goods/products have been shipped to customers in multiple locations. For this reason, the infringement might have occurred in multiple places. So, more than one court might have a proper venue when looking only at this factor. But, as also noted above, the courts will consider other factors including:
- Contracts between the parties — if any — and where those contracts were negotiated and signed
- Any business dealings between the parties — including where and when
- Where the parties live or have their business locations
- Various contacts — such as unrelated business dealings — with the venue location of the court by the parties
- Convenience of witnesses and location of evidence
Contact the Trademark Attorneys at Revision Legal