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Trademark Infringement, Likelihood of Confusion

Trademarks are designed to designate the source of a good or service. When you see golden arches, you know it is a McDonalds. Infringement of a trademark occurs when the use of a similar mark is “likely to cause confusion” in the marketplace. Vitek Systems, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories, 675 F.2d 190, 192 (8th Cir.1982).

There are numerous factors considered by courts in deciding whether there is a likeilhood of confusion: (1) appearance, (2) pronunciation of the words used (if any), (3) verbal translation of the pictures or designs involved, (4) suggestion, (5) intent of the actor in adopting the designation, (6) the rleaiton in use and manner of marketing between the goods or services marketed by the actor and those markted by the other and (7) the degree of care likely to be exercise by purchasers. Drexel Enterprises v. Richardson, 312 F.2d 525, 528 (10th Cir.1962). No single factor is determinative, but there is a test on three levels: sight, sound and meaning.

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