Answering a Complaint

If you have received a complaint or think you may, then there are many things you should know. Complaints are usually served by hand or first class mail. An answer to the complaint must be submitted within 20 days, although 30 day extensions may be granted if they are requested. There are three main ways a complaint can be responded to including admitting, denying, or alleging there was is no knowledge or information that would led them lead them to believe the allegation is true. Other affirmative defense that can be considered include laches, acquiescence, genericness, fair use, abandonment, estoppel, fraud, misuse, etc. When answering it is possible to also include a counterclaim. A counterclaim is generally compulsory in that they are related to the original claim and cannot be raised in later proceedings. Raising a counterclaim keeps open the possibility of things such as cancelling the opposing mark or being compensated for attorneys’ fees. Counterclaims can also be made for antitrust violations and for declaratory judgment of noninfringement. A complaint is just the beginning of the process, but starting out on the right foot can help protect your trademark rights.

This blog is not legal advice and is not specific to your application. You should always consult an attorney.