In the world of trademarks, building strong cases is vital for protecting brands and their unique identities. One invaluable tool is the utilization of surveys that act as compelling evidence, bolstering the validity of a trademark claim. Surveys can be pivotal in proving consumer confusion, ultimately influencing the court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiff. Keegan & Donato Consulting has the survey experience you need.
Keegan & Donato Consulting is a specialty research consultancy in Rye, New York. With more than 30 years of combined experience, well-established survey methodologies, and deep operational insight, we are one of the most skilled companies in trademark litigation.
Why Are Surveys Essential in Trademark Cases?
Surveys serve as a means for gathering empirical evidence to support a trademark claim. They provide valuable insights into consumer perceptions, understanding, and association with a particular brand or mark. This empirical data helps demonstrate the distinctiveness of a mark, showcasing its recognition among consumers and proving potential confusion with other similar marks.
Types of Surveys in Trademark Cases
Several types of surveys can be employed, including:
- Likelihood of Confusion Surveys: These surveys assess whether consumers will likely be confused between two marks.
- Secondary Meaning Surveys: These surveys establish whether a mark has acquired a secondary meaning among consumers, indicating its distinctiveness.
- Dilution Surveys: These surveys gauge the blurring or tarnishing effects on a famous mark due to the presence of another similar mark.
Beware of Flawed Surveys
Consumer surveys are essential in proving the likelihood of confusion, secondary meaning, genericness, consumer perception, and other issues where no other scientific evidence is available.
While survey evidence can be robust, it is not typically accepted by the courts without challenge. Courts scrutinize surveys for methodological flaws. Errors in sample selection or interviewer bias and suggestive wording may lead a judge to give the survey little weight or deem some or all of it inadmissible.
In Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Monster Energy Company – Dist. Court, SD Florida (2021), for example, Rage energy drink maker Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPX), filed suit against Monster Energy and alleged that their Reign energy drink infringed on its Bang energy drink.
The court ultimately ruled against VPX. “VPX has not shown any likelihood of confusion between Bang and Reign because, among other things… (2) VPX has failed to put forth direct evidence of actual confusion, and (3) VPX’s indirect evidence of confusion, in the form of a survey, is almost comically flawed.”
The significance of surveys in trademark law remains undeniable through notable cases and their impact on court decisions. Hiring highly qualified survey experts like Keegan & Donato Consulting will help protect your survey from criticism.
As you look for survey companies that can assist you in building strong trademark cases, consider Keegan & Donato Consulting. Contact us at (914) 967-9421 to learn more about our many services.