Trademarks are vital for businesses to protect their unique brand identities. A well-designed survey from Keegan & Donato Consulting can provide valuable insights and evidence in your legal proceedings.
Keegan & Donato Consulting provides nationwide service to attorneys practicing in federal and state courts, before arbitration panels, the TTAB, the NAD, and other specialty venues, and their clients. Principals Mark Keegan and Anthony Donato offer clients more than 30 combined years of proven survey methodologies, deep operational insight, and broad industry experience.
We provide expert research, analysis, affidavits and reports on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in support of trademark infringement litigation, and have collaborated extensively on cases involving business, marketing, and financial issues.
Our Survey Best Practices
At Keegan & Donato Consulting, we employ classic survey designs and develop innovative custom designs to suit each client’s needs. The key factors we consider when designing a trademark survey 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.
Hire Qualified Survey Experts to Prevent Problems
Survey evidence can be a convincing component of your overall case strategy but it will receive the critical attention of the courts and may be given little weight or excluded from evidence if poorly designed.
Consider Valador, Inc v. HTC Corporation, Case No. 1:16-cv-1162, Dist. Court, E.D. Virginia (2017). Valador, the plaintiff in this trademark dispute, alleged that the defendants infringed on its registered mark, “VIVE,” used in connection with the sale of its software, by selling a headset they called the “HTC Vive.”
The plaintiff hired an expert to conduct a survey to support its likelihood of confusion claim. The defendants filed a motion to exclude the survey testimony because the expert was unqualified and used unreliable survey methods and principles to reach his conclusions.
The court determined that the plaintiff’s expert “was not qualified to design a survey or interpret survey results” because he “lacked the necessary experience with trademark infringement claims” and granted the defendant’s motion.
The survey results were deemed inadmissible because they “(1) failed to evaluate the proper universe of respondents, (2) did not replicate market conditions, (3) neglected to use a control group, (4) eschewed the recognized methodologies for conducting trademark confusion surveys, and (5) asked improperly leading questions. These fundamental flaws, taken together, render the survey so unreliable as to be inadmissible.”
How Keegan & Donato Consulting Can Help
While selecting a trademark survey company to assist you in contesting an infringement allegation, consider Keegan & Donato Consulting. We will discuss the key factors we apply to survey design and implementation and quickly deliver intelligence within a wide range of budgets to help reinforce your strategy. Contact us today at (914) 967-9421 for more information.