Evidence Is The Real “Precious”
It’s not that hard in a trademark suit for a plaintiff to be able to establish that the defendant’s mark is similar to the plaintiff’s mark. That’s generally why the plaintiff brings the case in the first place. What is often the tricky part, though, is showing that consumers were actually confused. And if the plaintiff can’t show harm, then there is, so to speak, no foul. But a case involving a new Hobbit movie offers a road map for establishing confusion. Warner Brothers, the producer of The Hobbit, are seeking to block the release of a low budget production called Age of Hobbits. They contend that movie goers will assume that the low budget film is somehow connected with The Hobbit. To establish their case, Warner Brothers enlisted the Nielsen National Research Group. I’ll let you read the link to see what Nielsen did, but the results are pretty compelling. No word on when the court will rule, but if you don’t see Age of Hobbits coming to a box office near you anytime soon, you can assume Warner Brothers won.