Conducting consumer research surveys is a common approach toward proving secondary meaning. Keegan & Donato Consulting will design a study to target relevant consumers in your client’s market and determine how these consumers perceive your client’s brand.
Principals Mark Keegan and Anthony Donato offer wide-ranging strategic and analytical skills in the area of intellectual property litigation, and have collaborated extensively with plaintiffs and defendants in support of trademark infringement and trade dress litigation and on cases involving marketing, business and financial issues.
Our nationwide services include these areas of expertise:
- State-of-the-art survey design and execution
- Full-service data gathering and reporting capabilities
- Damages analysis and forensic economic analysis
- Pilot studies and exploratory research
- Collaboration on complex commercial litigation issues
- Critique and rebuttal of opposing experts’ studies and reports
- Advice on questioning of opposing experts in deposition and at trial
- Expert witness testimony on consumer survey, marketing & economic issues
All Trademarks are Not Created Equal
Trademark protection for inherently distinctive marks is often a routine process. Descriptive marks, on the other hand, are only protectable after the mark has acquired “secondary meaning” through advertising or exposure.
Secondary meaning occurs when relevant consumers associate an otherwise descriptive word, name, slogan, symbol or design with a single source. This is a powerful indicator that a mark is no longer descriptive and has been elevated in the minds of consumers as distinctive identifier of a brand.
For example, the words “holiday” and “inn” in the Holiday Inn brand name are descriptive words that refer to vacations and lodging. After decades of use in the marketplace, however, the mark has acquired secondary meaning because consumers associate the Holiday Inn brand with a single lodging chain. Another example of a descriptive mark that has acquired secondary meaning based on length of use and strength of advertising is American Airlines.
Conducting a consumer research study can help you gather the evidence to prove whether the mark in question has established secondary meaning.
We offer over 25 years of experience in marketing analysis, intellectual property, damages analysis, forensic economic analysis, and related areas. Our methodologically sound consumer surveys and skillful, objective analysis will ensure the admissibility and persuasiveness of the results and help you develop a powerful case or rebuttal strategy.
We have assisted firms across the nation, such as Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City, Blood Hurst & O’Reardon LLP in San Diego, Ropes & Gray LLP in Washington, DC, and Giampolo Law Group in Philadelphia, develop effective strategies to prove secondary meaning, acquired distinctiveness, strength of mark, and more.
We also have extensive experience rebutting surveys submitted by opposing experts covering a wide range of issues. If you are confronted during litigation with a research study that may not have been designed or executed properly, we can identify small and large methodological flaws and provide expert analysis for rebuttal in high-stakes IP disputes.
Keegan & Donato Consulting consumer research surveys can help you establish secondary meaning. Get in touch today at (914) 967-9421 to find out more about our services.