A huge part of both pursuing a trademark and protecting one is getting insights into consumer perceptions and awareness around a brand.
Thus, the trademark survey was born. These surveys involve questioning a sample group of respondents to obtain information about their familiarity with a trademark, their understanding of its meaning and their associations and opinions regarding the brand.
Trademark surveys serve several purposes:
Establishing trademark infringement
Surveys can be used to demonstrate consumer confusion between two trademarks. If a trademark owner believes that another party’s use of a similar mark is likely to cause confusion among consumers, a survey can provide empirical evidence to support their claims when litigation is necessary. It can also be used to determine if there’s dilution, or a general weakening of a trademark’s meaning because of another company’s use of something similar.
Trademarks are classified into different categories based on their level of distinctiveness. A survey can help assess the strength and distinctiveness of a trademark, determining whether it is inherently distinctive or has acquired secondary meaning through consumer recognition and association.
Evaluating consumer perception
Surveys can provide valuable insights into consumer perceptions of a brand or trademark. They can assess factors such as brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand reputation and consumer preferences, helping companies understand how their trademarks are perceived in the marketplace.
New trademark development
Surveys can assist in the process of selecting and developing new trademarks. They can test the potential effectiveness and appeal of different trademark options among the target audience, helping companies make informed decisions about brand identity and market positioning.
When you have questions about obtaining or defending a trademark, don’t try to figure out all the answers on your own. Experienced legal guidance by an attorney can help you understand the value of a trademark survey and what other steps you may need to take to protect your intellectual property and brand identity.