When trademark infringement is alleged, consumer surveys are often employed to convince a court that consumer confusion exists (or does not exist) between marks. The experts at Keegan & Donato Consulting can guide you in the use of surveys in trademark litigation.
Relying on a combined 30+ years of proven survey methodologies, deep operational insight and vast industry experience, principals Mark Keegan and Tony Donato 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.
What Consumer Surveys Can Measure
Surveys can be extremely useful in your attempt to measure issues related to intellectual property matters and provide evidence of infringement.
Likelihood of confusion is a common issue addressed by consumer survey research. A well-designed survey can provide direct scientific evidence of the extent to which consumers believe there is a relationship between the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s mark, brand, or product.
Secondary meaning occurs when consumers associate an otherwise descriptive mark with a single source. It can be measured by means of a consumer research study and may provide a strong indication that a mark is no longer descriptive and has become a distinctive identifier of a brand in the minds of consumers.
Trademark dilution occurs when an infringing party uses a famous mark in a way that tarnishes the mark’s reputation for quality or dilutes its strength by blurring its distinctiveness. Consumer recognition of a famous mark can be measured directly by a survey.
Acquired distinctiveness can be measured with consumer survey research. When a mark acquires distinctiveness, it becomes capable of serving as a trademark by associating in the mind of consumers with a particular source of goods and services. This usually happens as a result of extensive advertising and widespread commercial use.
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.
Are Trademark Surveys Expensive?
Keegan & Donato Consulting’s consumer research studies are custom-designed to meet the needs of each unique case. This may involve targeting specialized populations of respondents and developing unique designs to address the specific issues of importance in the case, factors that affect the time and level of difficulty of executing a study and its overall cost.
Most of our consumer surveys 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.
To maximize the use of consumer surveys to your overall trademark litigation strategy, get in touch with the experts at Keegan & Donato Consulting at (914) 967-9421. We will work within your budget to deliver the survey results you need.