It is up to the courts to decide if the slogan "Hearing is Believing," used by Max Sound is an infringement of Koss's trademark slogan. The basis for trademark infringement, according to Dr. Dariush Adli, of theAdli Law Group in Los Angeles, California, is consumer confusion. Dr. Adli says that the courts look at several factors when determining trademark infringement, including the similarity of marks, where the marks are, where it's being promoted, among other things and how likely it is the consumer will be confused by the two marks.
Dr. Adli, who is representing Max Sound against Koss, believes that although both companies share the same slogan, the consumers are "sophisticated enough to distinguish the two because even though the two marks are identical, they apply to two different areas of trade." Koss is in the market for stereo headphone equipment and Max Sound is a software company that enhances music sound.
The slogan "Hearing is Believing" is currently being used by other entities and Dr. Adli thinks the slogan may have become generic and that is an issue for the courts to decide. Currently, the case is in its initial stages, with complaints just having been filed. With the first court hearings coming up and then discovery, Dr. Adli's hopes that there can be a resolution where both sides can win without the expenditure of legal fees.
Dr. Dariush Adli is the founder and owner of the Adli Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California, which focuses primarily on patent litigation. For more information on the Adli Law Group, go to www.adlilaw.com. Dr. Adli spoke with The Legal Broadcast Network, providing online, on-demand legal video content.