Secondary Meaning Surveys

MMR Strategy Group provides surveys to measure secondary meaning in intellectual property matters.


Secondary meaning is one of the more straightforward concepts that survey experts measure in intellectual property matters. A secondary meaning survey typically seeks to assess whether a “significant” or “substantial part” of the customer class associates a trademark or trade dress with a single source.

Our survey experts may measure secondary meaning through questions such as the following:

  1. Have you ever heard of [the trademark] with regard to [the context]?

  3. (If “yes” above:) Do you associate [the trademark] with one company, more than one company, or no company?

  5. (If “one company” above:) What company do you associate with [the trademark]?


Secondary meaning exists if respondents associate the trademark or trade dress with only one company. Secondary meaning surveys may ask the third question (“what company”) as a way to identify whether the trademark or trade dress is typically associated with the plaintiff or the defendant.


The measurements from these questions can be compared against standard sources or past precedents, to evaluate whether or not secondary meaning is present in sufficient quantity as to be considered substantial or relevant.


Click here to read a decision issued by a Court of Appeals commenting on a secondary meaning survey conducted by Dr. Bruce Isaacson.


Contact us to learn how MMR Strategy Group can help with your secondary meaning survey.

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