When your trademark litigation involves issues of secondary meaning, consider conducting a consumer research survey. Keegan & Donato Consulting can design a study that addresses relevant consumers in your client’s market and determines how these consumers perceive your client’s brand.
Keegan & Donato Consulting, located in Rye, New York, is a specialty research firm that serves attorneys and their clients. We work on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants to provide independent and reliable consumer-based survey research solutions.
We have vast experience in the design, execution, and critique of surveys in support of trademark infringement and trade dress litigation, and have collaborated extensively on cases involving marketing, business and financial issues.
Descriptive marks are not ordinarily protectable as trademarks. If they have acquired a secondary meaning, however, they may be able to be protected.
Secondary meaning arises when the consuming public has come to identify trademarks that consist of words with an ordinary and primary meaning of their own with a certain product over time. When this happens, a descriptive mark that a business was unable to register initially may be entitled to protection even though it is sometimes used by consumers in a generic sense.
For example, Band-Aid® for an adhesive bandage, ChapStick® for lip balm, and Xerox® for copy machines were all generically used descriptive marks, but ultimately achieved trademark status because the manufacturers were able to prove that a link had been established in the minds of consumers – a secondary meaning – between the products and their sources.
Survey evidence is a common way of proving secondary meaning, a crucial step in trademark litigation. Keegan & Donato Consulting can help you develop a robust case strategy.
Selecting a Consumer Survey Expert
The trademark survey experts you hire will provide critical input regarding survey protocol and the procedures used in conducting the survey.
Consumer research experts can have a significant impact on whether your case succeeds or fails. It’s important to know their educational backgrounds, their experience at being deposed and testifying at trial, and whether or not their surveys have been admitted into evidence.
The principals of Keegan & Donato Consulting – Mark Keegan and Anthony Donato – offer a combined 25 years of expertise in designing, executing and critiquing consumer research studies in the context of litigation.
Mr. Keegan is a member of the New York and Connecticut Bar Associations who has a record of formulating complex case strategies on behalf of his clients and a history as a marketing strategist who has worked with top brands.
Mr. Donato, who holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University, has an extensive background in marketing, intellectual property, and consumer behavior cases covering trademark, copyright, patent, best efforts, advertising, business damages, consumer surveys, and business ethics.
Our methodologically sound consumer surveys have been admitted into evidence in federal and state courts, at arbitration, and to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the NAB, and we have testified extensively at deposition and at trial.
We have assisted firms such as Blood Hurst & O’Reardon LLP in San Diego, Crone Hawxhurst LLP in Los Angeles, Riemer & Braunstein LLP in Boston, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City.
When you need a trademark secondary meaning survey, Keegan & Donato Consulting offers a rare combination of strategic and analytical skills for consumer research in support of your case strategy. Get in touch with us at (914) 967-9421 to take advantage of our extensive knowledge and expertise.