Consumer surveys are important in determining whether competing marks are likely to confuse consumers. If you are looking for highly qualified consultants who can provide a likelihood of confusion analysis to strengthen your trademark infringement case, look no further than Keegan & Donato Consulting.
Located in Rye, New York, Keegan & Donato Consulting offers a wide range of services to plaintiff and defendant clients, including consultation on litigation strategy, consumer research studies, testimony in trademark and trade dress litigation, testimony at deposition and/or trial, expert reports, and rebuttal of opposing parties’ surveys when applicable.
What is Confusion?
Trademark owners who claim infringement and unfair competition under the Lanhan Act, 15 USC 1114(a)(1) are usually required to establish these two elements:
- that the defendant used the registered mark in commerce;
- that the use of the mark is likely to cause consumer confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.
When marks are too similar, the allegedly infringing mark may confuse consumers into buying unwanted goods or services, dilute or damage a brand’s reputation, or allow competitors to benefit from another brand’s well-known reputation. The more similar the marks are, the more likely it is that confusion and infringement will occur.
Value of Consumer Surveys
Although courts often give evidence of actual consumer confusion substantial weight, it is not a requirement. The most persuasive evidence will often come from a consumer survey.
A likelihood of confusion survey from Keegan & Donato Consulting is a valuable litigation tool because it addresses the issue of consumer confusion from a scientific perspective, providing empirical data regarding the extent to which consumers believe that certain brands at issue emanate from the same source or are somehow related.
By asking relevant consumers to respond to certain stimuli and recording their answers, it is possible to measure their attitudes and behaviors, and understand how they perceive a contested mark.
It is this understanding of how consumers view the relationship between brands that forms the basis of a likelihood of confusion analysis.
Should You Hire a Survey Expert?
Surveys are highly susceptible to criticism, and you can expect the courts to scrutinize them for methodological flaws. Sample selection issues, interviewer bias, and suggestive wording often cause judges to attribute little weight to a survey or deem some or all of the results inadmissible.
For this reason, we highly recommend hiring qualified survey experts. Keegan & Donato Consulting’s methodologically sound consumer research studies and expert testimony will meet the courts’ standards for design, execution, and analysis and serve as powerful evidence in your case.
Keegan & Donato Consulting offers a combination of strategic and analytical expertise that can answer your questions about likelihood of confusion and help you develop a powerful trademark infringement case. Contact us at (914) 967-9421 to explore our wide range of affordable services.
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