Contributory Trademark Infringement in the age of the Internet is something every trademark attorney needs to understand.
There are two theories under which a defendant may become contributorily liable for the infringing conduct of another under trademark law;
First, a defendant can be liable for contributory infringement if that defendant “intentionally induces another to infringe a trademark.”
Second, the second theory of contributory infringement occurs when a defendant “continues to supply its service (for instance, an online sales, e-commerce or auction site) to a direct infringer whom the defendant knows or has reason to know is engaging in trademark infringement.”
The standard for contributory trademark infringement is set forth in the Inwood Laboratories, Inc. v. Ives Laboratories, Inc., 456 U.S. 844 (1982). Learning from Inwood, it is incumbent upon any person asserting their rights to a trademark that they provide notice (either direct or constructive) of any perceived infringement to the allegedly infringing parties.