As you evaluate trademark survey companies to bolster your intellectual property case in Orlando, consider Keegan & Donato Consulting. We pride ourselves on providing survey research quickly, reliably, and within financial expectations.
Keegan & Donato Consulting is a specialty research consultancy that designs and executes consumer-based surveys for attorneys and their clients in the context of intellectual property disputes. Principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato have over 25 years of cumulative experience in the field of consumer research.
Forgoing Survey Evidence Can Be a Risk
When trademark infringement is alleged, litigants often use consumer research surveys as evidence in support of (or against) a claim of likelihood of confusion, trade dress, distinctiveness, genericness or secondary meaning.
Consumer surveys provide direct evidence about consumer perceptions that is difficult to achieve with visual comparisons and testimony alone. Surveys can be used to create or rebut evidence. While presenting survey evidence is not mandatory, it may help you build a stronger case.
In Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. v. Societe Des Produits Nestle S.A, 685 F.3d 1046, Fed. Cir. 2012, the Court determined that, “there may be cases in which the evidence of likelihood of confusion is not strong enough to support a finding to that effect in the absence of survey evidence.”
In Classic Liquor Importers, LTD v. Spirits International B.V., No. 15 Civ. 6503 (JSR), Dist. Court, S.D. New York 2016, the quality of the parties’ products was one of several issues in the case. The Court disregarded this factor, however, stating that, “without the aid of consumer survey evidence or expert testimony, the Court is unable to draw any conclusions as to the respective quality of the products.”
The defendant in the case, Spirits International B.V., also pursued a Lanham Act counterclaim of false advertising. However, “it did not commission a consumer survey” and could not point to reliable evidence of consumer deception or confusion. The Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on this counterclaim.
It is important for brand owners to consider conducting a consumer survey, because it can often be a critical factor in the Court’s assessment of a case.
Cost of Trademark Surveys
Some attorneys decide not to commission consumer surveys because they falsely believe them to be prohibitively expensive. This is not necessarily the case.
Keegan & Donato Consulting’s consumer research studies are custom-designed to meet the needs of each individual case. Often this involves targeting specialized populations of respondents and developing unique designs to address the specific issues of importance in the case. These and other variables impact the time required and level of difficulty of executing a study, and therefore, the study’s overall cost.
Most of our consumer studies cost between $30,000 and $80,000 to complete, and $55,000 is the most typical cost. We work on a fixed rate or hourly basis depending on your needs, and will work with you to design a survey that is both reliable and within your budget. We will always provide you with an estimate of project costs prior to engagement, and our fees are clearly outlined in our engagement agreement.
Experienced trademark survey companies like Keegan & Donato Consulting can help you solve the biggest challenges of your Orlando case by quickly delivering intelligence within a wide range of budgets. Get in touch with us at (914) 967-9421 to find out how we can work with you to get you the survey results that you need.