Could You Confuse These Rubber Shoes With a Sports Car?
"The question of 'likelihood of confusion' is the signal test to determine if a trademark infringement claim is valid." So says the introduction to the excellent Likelihood of Confusion blog. Using that test, then, I ask you: Would you be likely to confuse a $30 pair of rubber shoes with a $50,000 sports car?
That "likelihood" appears to be the fear of Porsche.Footnoted.org writes in this post that in a recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, Colorado-based shoe manufacturer Crocs disclosed that it is being sued over its use of the name "Cayman." The SEC filing states:
"On May 11, 2009, Crocs Europe B.V. received a letter from Dr. Ing. H.c.F. Porsche AG (”Porsche”) claiming that the Company's use of the “Cayman” shoe model designator infringes upon their Community Trademark Registration of the mark “CAYMAN” in class 25. Porsche is requesting that Crocs Europe B.V. immediately cease and desist use of the Cayman mark and pay Porsche's attorney's fees in conjunction with the issuance of the notice letter. On July 30, 2009 the Company was served with notice of an injunction against Crocs Europe BV's use of the Cayman mark in Germany."
Crocs says it plans to “vigorously defend” itself against the claims.
Others in the blogosphere have been quick to point out that in addition to the remote possibility of confusion here, the word "Cayman" is commonly used in many other contexts. Thus, a certain species of alligator and residents of a British overseas colony may need to contact their lawyers.
Posted by Bruce Carton on November 11, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Permalink
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