When is confusion unlikely for purposes of a motion to dismiss?

Nutter’s IP Law Bulletin covers Southgate v. Soundspark, Inc., No. 14-CV-13861-ADB, 2016 WL 1268253 (D. Mass. Mar. 31, 2016), in which the court found confusion implausible on the pleadings based on a description of the parties’ businesses.  Although Southgate had a valid registration for a design mark for “Sound Spark Studios,”

Southgate did not sufficiently plead how his company was similar to and competed with defendants’; the court said that the complaint offered little evidence of similarity aside from the fact that “both companies are involved in the music industry.” The court also explained that the complaint said nothing of the companies’ respective “channels of trade, advertising, or consumer base.” And the defendants’ apparent good faith in rebranding to “TapTape” mattered, too.

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