Trademark survey companies like Keegan & Donato Consulting can significantly impact your client’s case in Albany, NY. We have a solution that will meet your requirements, regardless of your budget.
Relying on 30+ combined years of proven survey methodologies, deep operational awareness, and vast industry experience, principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato provide expert research, analysis, affidavits, and reports for plaintiffs and defendants to support their trademark infringement litigation. Located in Rye, New York, we serve clients nationwide and have collaborated extensively on cases involving business, marketing, and financial issues.
Our consumer surveys have been admitted as evidence in state and federal courts, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the NAB, arbitration hearings, and other specialty venues. Principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato also have extensive testimony experience.
Our Consumer Survey Specialties
Confusion: One of the primary purposes of a trademark is to prevent consumer confusion. However, with more and more brands competing for share of mind in the marketplace, some confusion is inevitable. A well-executed standard or custom survey from Keegan & Donato Consulting can help you assess whether consumers are indeed confused.
Secondary Meaning: Descriptive marks are not usually protectable as trademarks unless they have acquired a secondary meaning. We design consumer research surveys that target pertinent consumers in your client’s market and help you determine whether consumers associate a contested mark with one or more sources.
Strength of Mark: The “strength” of a mark has a bearing on the legal protections available to a mark holder. In general, fanciful, arbitrary, and suggestive terms are considered inherently distinctive and can be afforded various trademark protections. Descriptive marks are unlikely to achieve protection because they lack sufficient distinction to be associated by consumers with one source.
Dilution: Trademark dilution arises when a party uses a famous mark in a way that tarnishes its reputation or dilutes its strength by blurring its distinctiveness. Consumer recognition of a famous mark can be measured directly by a survey.
Trade Dress: Trade dress, like a trademark, is protectable under the Lanham Act. Conducting a consumer survey can help you gather the evidence to prove whether the trade dress in question has established secondary meaning or is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace.
Hire an Expert to Avoid Survey Flaws
Surveys can provide powerful evidence but may be deemed inadmissible or given little weight by the Court if they are overly broad or fail to address the critical issues in a case, even if based on an acceptable methodology.
In Kate Spade LLC v. Saturdays Surf LLC, 950 F.Supp. 2d 639 – Dist. Court, S.D. New York (2013), the Court found limited value in survey evidence presented by both parties and gave them no weight at all in this infringement litigation. The Court found that the plaintiff’s survey was poorly designed, and the defendant’s survey suffered from methodological flaws that raised “serious questions about the leading nature of the survey design.”
In Elliott v. Google, Inc., 45 F. Supp. 3d 1156 – Dist. Court, D. Arizona (2014), the Court deemed the plaintiff’s surveys inadmissible after deciding they were poorly constructed and unscientific. The Court also determined that the survey expert was “unqualified to design a survey or interpret survey results” [see 45 F.Supp.3d 1167-1170].
How We Can Help
As you evaluate trademark survey companies to support your Albany, NY case or to assist you in contesting an infringement allegation, consider Keegan & Donato Consulting. We deliver intelligence quickly within a wide range of budgets to help reinforce your strategy. Contact us today at (914) 967-9421 for more information.