Under the category of notations which could mislead the consumers, Rospatent classifying those trademarks as causing an impression of the quality of a product and its manufacturer, which is not true. An emblem will be recognized as false or misleading even if this concerns just one of its elements.
If you have to face a claim for misleading of consumers or discovered a rival commercial emblem which may bring confusion for your loyal customers, you need to find out how justified the opinion is about the possible misleading of the consumers. A preliminary forecast you can obtain free using our Free Services.
Copyright holders and lawyers often consider the ability of a trademark to mislead equivalent to the trademark causing confusion. However, there is a difference between these two ways of unfair competition. The confusion leads to the risk that consumers can purchase goods labelled with emblem ‘A’, believing that they are buying the goods marked with emblem ‘B’. Whereas misleading activity involves a wider range of violations: copying someone else’s elements of design, using part of the notation’s wording and so on. Based on that, the consumers may be aware that they face a different product, but they believe it was produced by the same manufacturer who owns the original trademark.
Thus, the confusing similarity of trademarks – is merely a case of consumer misleading, although these actions both bring the same result: the consumers pay their money to an unfair competitor and purchase a product that they had not planned to buy.
As can be understood from the foregoing, the ability to mislead is not an objective fact but an opportunity, whose implementation depends on the perception of buyers. Patent attorneys or experts of Rospatent try to estimate the presence or absence of misleading features by sight. But would the opinion of a single person, however highly competent, be enough for evidence? Only a consumer survey gives a reliable result.
The Sociological Examination Laboratory is engaged in a wide range of research activities, in particular for any consumer misleading features in respect to the nature, method and place of fabrication of a product and its consumer properties, as well as investigating for its manufacturers.
When developing and carrying out our research, we take into account the following three points:
1) To what extent is an emblem able to cause the false associations;
2) Can the existing potential become a reality, i.e. whether it will affect the purchasing behaviour of consumers;
3) Can the proved possibility of consumer misleading cause any substantial damage to consumer interests or to the reputation of the manufacturer.
On the basis of the expert opinion issued by the Laboratory it will be easier for a lawyer or a legal owner to make a decision on whether there are any grounds for seeking a legal redress, or not. Subsequently the survey results are used as the main evidence of breach of the trademark owner’s rights.
You can see examples of successful using of the sociological research as evidence in lawsuits relating to misleading of consumers:
More examples of using the sociological research as the evidence of misleading of consumers you can find here, or request them through the “Ask a question” form, or by a telephone.
For more details, questions or to place an order for a study, please call (Tel). 8-800-500-97-95, or send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org