Trademark News & Screw-ups Potato chip fight: Martin's files trademark infringement suit over its kettle logo

When assessing whether two trademarks are confusingly similar, the courts will not only look at similarity in appearance, but also at similarity in ideas that the two brands are supposed to convey. It's not about side-by-side comparison akin to "spot 10 differences." It's about whether Martin's, by virtue of having registered its logo, now owns the mental association between potato chips and an image of a kettle. While the images themselves are dissimilar, I see merit in Martin's claim. That again proves how important it is to do a proper trademark search before you adopt a brand for your business. Automated knock-out searches will never catch anything like that!

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