David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld


Likelihood of Expansion — factor in likelihood of confusion

By David Lilenfeld on January 31, 2016

In some circuit courts, likelihood of expansion is a factor in the likelihood of confusion analysis.  Here is the likelihood of expansion portion from the Clearly Canadian opinion.

6.  Likelihood of expansion

Clearly Food claims that it intends to release a sparkling tea beverage in the United States that will overlap with the Clearly Kombucha product. (Mot. at 24. (citing Khan Dep. at 106-08). ) However, Clearly Food fails to provide any supporting evidence for that assertion. The pages of Mr. Khan’s deposition to which Clearly Food cites do not discuss expansion plans into sparkling tea beverages or otherwise. (See Khan Dep. at 106-08 (discussing whether Mr. Kahn believed Clearly Canadian-branded air fresheners would infringe his company’s trademark).) “[M]ere speculation is not evidence.” Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 634 (9th Cir. 2005). Clearly Food’s “complete inability to adduce any concrete evidence of expansion plans tilts this factor in favor of” Top Shelf. Id. (David Lilenfeld: this seems like an evidentiary issue, not legal. Clearly Food probably had the plan, but evidence of those plans did not make it into the record).


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