Applied Marketing Science, Inc. Survey Cited in Milk Street Cafe, Inc. vs. CPK Media, LLC Trademark Infringement Matter

A survey conducted by Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS) on behalf of CPK Media was cited by U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper as a basis for the ruling in Milk Street Cafe, Inc. vs. CPK Media, LLC, case number 1:16-cv-11416-DJC. In this case, the plaintiffs claimed that the “Milk Street Cafe” trademark had acquired secondary meaning and that the defendant’s use of the “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street” mark was likely to cause consumer confusion.

Regarding secondary meaning, Judge Casper stated that “direct evidence, such as customer surveys or testimony, although not required, is considered highly probative as to whether a mark has acquired secondary meaning.” CPK Media retained AMS survey expert Brian Sowers who introduced survey evidence showing that the Milk Street Cafe mark had not acquired secondary meaning. The Court agreed with Mr. Sowers’ opinion, and cited the results of the Sowers survey as a basis for the ruling.

Regarding likelihood of confusion, Milk Street Cafe did not introduce survey evidence to establish likelihood of confusion. Instead, the plaintiffs relied upon the opinion of an expert who, without a survey, opined that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks. CPK Media retained AMS rebuttal expert, Robert L. Klein, who opined that Milk Street Cafe’s expert did not provide a sufficient factual basis for concluding that a likelihood of confusion existed in this case. The Court agreed with Mr. Klein’s opinion, concluding that Milk Street Cafe failed to demonstrate a likelihood of consumer confusion.

If you would like to learn more about this case, you can contact trademark infringement survey expert Brian Sowers at (781) 250-6313.

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