When your trademark litigation in Atlanta, GA requires sound and reliable survey evidence, Keegan & Donato Consulting can help. We are a specialty research consultancy and one of the most experienced companies in the field of trademark litigation.
Principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato offer clients a combined 25 years of proven survey methodologies, deep operational insight and broad industry experience.
We provide expert research, analysis, affidavits and reports on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in support of trademark infringement litigation, and have collaborated extensively on cases involving business, marketing, and financial issues.
Keegan & Donato Consulting has assisted attorneys practicing in federal and state courts, before arbitration panels, the TTAB, the NAD, and other specialty venues. We have been engaged by leading firms across the nation, including Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles, Reed Smith LLP in Chicago, and Arnold & Porter LLP in San Francisco.
Value of Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement
Trademark cases can be complex and are frequently decided based on the quality of the evidence presented.
Under the Lanham Act, trademark owners who claim infringement and unfair competition are generally required to establish two elements: (1) that the defendant used the registered mark in commerce; and (2) that the use is likely to cause consumer confusion.
Evidence of actual confusion is not required; however, courts often give such evidence substantial weight. In many instances, the most persuasive evidence comes from a consumer research study. However, when not conducted by trained independent experts using sound methodologies, the court may find that they are of limited value.
For example, in Kate Spade LLC v. Saturdays Surf LLC, 950 F.Supp. 2d 639 – Dist. Court, S.D. New York (2013), the Court ruled that women’s apparel company Kate Spade LLC’s “Kate Spade Saturday” line of apparel did not infringe on a registered “Saturdays Surf NYC” trademark owned by men’s retailer Saturdays Surf LLC, finding that there was unlikely to be any consumer confusion between the two marks.
Both sides presented consumer survey testimony in an effort to measure consumer confusion. The Court, however, found both to be of limited value and afforded them no weight in the decision.
Saturdays Surf LLC’s survey was determined to suffer from methodological flaws that raised “serious questions about the leading nature of the survey design.” Kate Spade LLC’s survey was also found to be poorly designed.
Our Survey Methodology
Keegan & Donato Consulting follows established principles of consumer survey research beginning with a rigorous and valid survey design that explores the relevant issues in the case. We have stringent procedures in place to minimize potential biases in data collection.
Our capabilities include state-of-the art survey designs that are probative of the relevant issues in each case, the ability to target specific consumer populations with appropriate universe selection and sampling frames, and cutting-edge rotation and randomization of hundreds of question types with customizable complex skip and display logic when appropriate.
As you evaluate trademark survey companies to bolster your Atlanta, GA litigation, Keegan & Donato Consulting would be pleased to advise you on the best approach for your particular survey or provide you with an objective evaluation of existing survey research. Contact us today at (914) 967-9421 to find out how we can help.