Surveys from Keegan & Donato Consulting can be indispensable tools in assessing trademark confusion. Beyond furnishing empirical evidence, they offer insights into consumer perceptions and help courts understand the potential for confusion between trademarks.
Headquartered in Rye, New York, Keegan & Donato Consulting provides various services to plaintiff and defendant clients across the nation, including consultation on litigation strategy, consumer research surveys, testimony during litigation, testimony at deposition and/or trial, expert reporting, and rebuttal of opposing parties’ surveys when applicable.
Understanding Trademark Confusion
Trademark confusion arises when consumers mistakenly identify one brand’s goods or services as originating from another due to similarities in their trademarks. This confusion threatens a brand’s distinctiveness and can impact consumer trust and loyalty.
Trademark owners who claim infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1114(a)(1), are typically required to establish these two elements:
- The defendant used the registered mark in commerce;
- Using the mark will likely cause consumer confusion, cause mistakes, or deceive.
A likelihood of confusion survey from Keegan & Donato Consulting can be valuable in litigation because it addresses consumer confusion from a scientific perspective, providing data on the extent to which consumers believe that the brands at issue emanate from the same source or are somehow related.
The Role of Surveys in Assessing Trademark Confusion
A trademark’s primary purpose is to prevent confusion. When too similar, the marks may confuse consumers into buying unwanted brands. This can damage or dilute a brand’s reputation or allow competitors to benefit from the established reputation of another company’s brand.
Trademarks can be similar in appearance, meaning, and sound. The more similar they are, the greater the chances of confusion between the marks and the greater the chances of infringement.
Keegan & Donato Consulting’s consumer surveys address objective, non-leading questions to an appropriate universe of consumers. We follow survey design, execution, and presentation best practices to satisfy judicial and adversarial scrutiny. Our procedures are designed to minimize potential biases in data collection, and our services include a complete analysis and reporting of survey data.
FAQs on Trademark Confusion Surveys
Q: Are surveys the only method used to assess trademark confusion?
No. Surveys are a persuasive tool, but courts consider various types of evidence beyond surveys when determining trademark confusion, including actual instances of confusion, expert testimonies, and the similarity of the marks and goods/services.
Q: How influential are survey results in court decisions regarding trademark confusion?
Survey results can be highly influential. When well-designed and presented convincingly, surveys offer compelling evidence of consumer confusion. Courts often consider them as strong indicators of the likelihood of confusion between trademarks.
Hire the Experts
Assessing trademark confusion with surveys will be easier with the expertise of Keegan & Donato Consulting. Professionally conducted surveys by qualified experts enhance their accuracy. Call us at (914) 967-9421 to take advantage of our expertise and data-gathering expertise. Hiring us will significantly impact whether the court deems your survey results admissible.