At Keegan & Donato Consulting, we rate methodological design among the most critical aspects of designing trademark consumer surveys. Explore our survey best practices and the reasons for taking advantage of expert advice in your intellectual property litigation.
About the Firm
Keegan & Donato Consulting, located in historic Rye, New York, designs and executes consumer-based surveys for attorneys across the nation and their clients in the context of intellectual property disputes.
Principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato rely on over 30 years of proven survey methodologies, deep operational insight, and vast industry experience, to conduct expert research, affidavits, analysis, and reports for plaintiffs and defendants in support of trademark infringement litigation.
Our Survey Best Practices
At Keegan & Donato Consulting, we employ classic survey designs and develop innovative custom designs to suit each client’s needs. Our best practices include:
- Properly defined universe selection and sampling frame;
- Rigorous and valid survey design that probes the relevant issues in the case;
- Inclusion of representative, qualified respondents;
- Use of procedures to minimize potential biases in data collection;
- Use of straightforward, precise, non-leading questions;
- Use of methods that reduce guessing among respondents; and
- Complete analysis and reporting of the data gathered.
Our industry-leading online survey software platform facilitates the programming and execution of advanced survey designs, including complex skip logic and advanced rotation and randomization of questions, answer options, and stimuli.
We obtain our survey sample from leading marketing research companies that maintain multi-million-member online consumer panels. These companies are top providers of survey sample in the U.S. and are used by prominent marketing research firms.
Each case is unique, and we collaborate with clients to understand the fundamental issues of their cases to maximize the value of the survey evidence to the overall case strategy.
Why Take Advantage of Expert Advice
Expert advice can be critical for various reasons, such as making the most of fact discovery, framing requests, and identifying issues to investigate in depositions.
Mainly through survey evidence, a survey expert can help establish whether or not a descriptive mark has acquired secondary meaning; whether or not one’s use of a mark creates a likelihood of confusion with an already existing mark; whether or not a mark is famous; and whether or not one brand’s mark is likely to weaken or impair the distinctiveness of a competing mark.
Good survey evidence can be powerful. However, consumer surveys typically are not accepted without challenge. Courts demand accurate, real-world data, and design flaws can result in the partial or complete exclusion of survey evidence from a case.
For example, in Elliott v. Google, Inc., 45 F. Supp. 3d 1156 – Dist. Court, D. Arizona (2014), the plaintiff’s surveys were ruled inadmissible because the court deemed them unscientific and poorly constructed. The court also rejected the survey expert as unqualified “to design a survey or to interpret survey results” [see 45 F.Supp.3d 1167-1170].
To learn more about best practices for trademark consumer surveys and whether such a research study could strengthen your trademark infringement case, get in touch with Keegan & Donato Consulting at (914) 967-9421. Our goal is to work within your budget to deliver the results you need.