Trademark News & Screw-ups Wawa prevails against Paterson’s Dawa in trademark dispute

A trademark gives its owner the right to stop others from using not only identical marks, but also similar marks, as long as the owner can prove that the marks are similar enough to cause customer confusion. The "confusingly similar" test relies on a fictional person, an average consumer in a hurry, who vaguely remembers the registered brand. The question that is asked is whether that consumer, when exposed to the second brand, would be likely to think that the second brand comes from the same source as the first one. In this case, the standard would be whether customers who vaguely remember Wawa stores (but not necessarily a frequent customer), when seeing the Dawa store, would think that Dawa and Wawa are owned by the same company or even are the same thing. Dawa was probably right to settle. I hope that when they think of a new name they don't make a mistake so many small businesses make when forced to rebrand by a big company. I hope Dawa does not rebrand into something that is STILL too close to Wawa, like Vava, or Dava, or Davva, etc.

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