Keegan & Donato Consulting has developed trademark surveys for plaintiffs and defendants across the nation on secondary meaning, likelihood of confusion, strength of mark, acquired distinctiveness, dilution, genericness, false advertising, and many others issues.
We have vast experience in designing, executing, and critiquing surveys in support of trade dress litigation and trademark infringement. We have also collaborated extensively on cases involving marketing, business, and financial issues.
About Secondary Meaning
Descriptive marks are not ordinarily protectable as trademarks. However, if they acquire a secondary meaning, they may qualify for protection.
Secondary meaning arises when consumers identify trademarks consisting of ordinary words with a specific product over time. When this occurs, a descriptive mark that initially could not be registered may be entitled to protection even though consumers sometimes use it in a generic sense.
For example, ChapStick® for lip balm, Band-Aid® for an adhesive bandage, and Xerox® for copy machines were generically used descriptive marks. Ultimately, however, they achieved trademark status because the manufacturers proved that a link had been established in the minds of consumers – a secondary meaning – between the products and their sources.
How a Survey Can Help
Has your client’s mark acquired a secondary meaning with the consuming public? Survey evidence can provide the answer.
Proving secondary meaning is crucial in trademark litigation. It could elevate a mark’s status, opening the path to previously unavailable trademark protections. Consequently, paying adequate attention to the issue of secondary meaning should be a principal consideration when developing your case strategy.
Conducting a consumer survey is a common approach to proving secondary meaning. Keegan & Donato Consulting will design a study to target relevant consumers in your client’s market and determine how they perceive your client’s brand.
Don’t Allow Flawed Surveys to Damage Your Case
A flawed or defective consumer survey will negatively impact your client’s case. Hiring highly qualified experts, such as Keegan & Donato Consulting, can help establish whether a descriptive mark has acquired secondary meaning, whether competing marks are likely to confuse consumers, whether a mark is famous, and whether a brand’s mark is likely to cause dilution.
Keegan & Donato Consulting offers extraordinary expertise in the field of consumer research studies, and our work has been admitted into evidence in state and federal courts, at arbitration, the NAD, and the TTAB. Principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato also have extensive testimony experience.
Keegan & Donato Consulting consumer surveys can help you establish secondary meaning, which is a crucial step in your trademark litigation. Contact us today at (914) 967-9421 for help developing a robust case strategy.