Trademark News & Screw-ups Does Cateau Marmont Infringe Trademark of Iconic Los Angeles Hotel?

Another example of a trademark dispute with a potential "parody in unrelated goods and services" defense. The general rule is that trademark infringement only exists when there is a likelihood of confusion between goods and services of two parties. The Trademarks Office and the courts are usually of the position that as long as the goods and services are unrelated, two parties can get away with using (and even registering) very similar (and often identical) trademarks. This rule is sound. Where it gets interesting is when one company is deliberately creating an association in the public's mind with some other brand—even if their products and services are totally different. What the courts should recognize in this situation is that intent matters. It's not just about whether the public will be mislead into believing that the second company's products and services come from the same source as products and services of the first company. It should also be about whether the second company intentionally attempted to take a free ride on the popularity of the first company's brand.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.