Teflon survey used to demonstrate client’s mark functions as a trademark for coffee-related products

In this matter involving coffee-related products, after the plaintiff filed a complaint stating that the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s mark without permission was likely to cause confusion as to affiliation, the defendant alleged that the mark at issue is generic for coffee-related products. Applied Marketing Science (AMS) conducted a “Teflon-style” survey among potential purchasers, which involved giving respondents a set of coffee-related names (some brand names, some common names), and asking them to categorize each as a brand name or a common name or indicate that they don’t know. The results showed that our client’s product was perceived as a brand name by more than half of consumers surveyed, indicating that it could, in fact, function as a trademark.

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