2016 (Mercantile Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 4

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Mercantile Law Instructions; 2016 Mercantile Law Questions: 1235678910111213141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

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X’s “MINI-ME” burgers are bestsellers in the country. Its “MINI-ME” logo, which bears the color blue, is a registered mark and has been so since the year 2010. Y, a competitor ofX, has her own burger which she named “ME-TOO” and her logo thereon is printed in bluish-green. When X sued Y for trademark infringement, the trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiff by applying the Holistic Test. The court held that Y infringed on X’s mark since the dissimilarities between the two marks are too trifling and frivolous such that Y’s “ME-TOO,” when compared to X’s “MINI-ME,” will likely cause confusion among consumers.

Is the application of the Holistic Test correct? (5%)

One comment

  1. SUGGESTED ANSWER:

    Yes, Holistic Test is correct,

    The Holistic Test entails a consideration of the entirety of the marks as applied to the products, including labels and packaging, in determining confusing similarity. The scrutinizing eye of the observer must focus not only on the predominant words but also on the other features appearing in both labels so that a conclusion may be drawn as to whether one is confusingly similar to the other.

    Relative to the question on confusion of marks and trade names, jurisprudence has noted two (2) types of confusion, viz: (1) confusion of goods (product confusion), where the ordinarily prudent purchaser would be induced to purchase one product in the belief that he was purchasing the other; and (2) confusion of business (source or origin confusion), where, although the goods of the parties are different, the product, the mark of which registration is applied for by one party, is such as might reasonably be assumed to originate with the registrant of an earlier product, and the public would then be deceived either into that belief or into the belief that there is some connection between the two parties, though in existent.

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