MMR Strategy Group recently testified about confusion in a trademark infringement action arising from the marketing of the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. This blog post explores how reliable survey research and expert testimony can be used in these types of legal proceedings.
S10 Entertainment & Media LLC is a Los Angeles-based talent management firm that started doing business in 2017. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is a global manufacturer of smartphones and other devices; since 2010, it has sold its flagship S-series smartphones under the name Galaxy. Ensuing models in the series are numbered 1-10 (for example, the Galaxy S2) and 20-23. This numbering sequence progressed to the Samsung Galaxy S10, which was released in 2019.
S10 Entertainment alleged that Samsung’s marketing of the Galaxy S10 smartphone created consumer confusion as to the phone’s origin and affiliation with S10 Entertainment. The company argued that Samsung was aware of its existence prior to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S10, due to a potential promotion that included one of S10’s artists.
MMR Strategy Group Purchasing Survey
Samsung’s legal team retained Dr. Keith Botner, Vice President of MMR Strategy Group, to evaluate the importance of the various features consumers consider before purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. He conducted a purchasing survey measuring the relative importance of the S10 name to those purchasing decisions. Among all reasons considered by consumers, Dr. Botner found that the name “S10” was of relatively little importance.
Rebutting a Reverse Confusion Survey
Dr. Botner also provided a rebuttal to a reverse likelihood of confusion survey submitted by S10. He testified that S10’s survey was flawed because it employed an unreliable methodology, did not replicate the real-world marketplace, failed to measure the relevant consumer population, and employed a leading survey design. Ultimately, a jury in federal court for the Central District of California found that Samsung did not infringe on the S10 Entertainment trademark.
MMR Strategy Group is a leader in providing expert testimony and conducting reliable survey research for trademark and false advertising litigation. Contact us today if you require reliable survey research for a trademark litigation proceeding.