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Intellectual Property Trademarks

Eighth Circuit Permits Recovery for ‘Initial-Interest Confusion’ In Trademark Cases

The likelihood of confusion analysis is often focused on confusion at the time of purchase, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits permit mark holders to allege infringement based on presale, initial-interest confusion. Earlier this year, the Eighth Circuit joined the majority of circuits in permitting recovery for initial-interest confusion in certain circumstances.

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The Lanham Act protects trademark holders against consumer confusion by providing a cause of action against the use of similar marks on similar products if that use creates a likelihood of confusion. The likelihood of confusion analysis is often focused on confusion at the time of purchase, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits permit mark holders to allege infringement based on presale, initial-interest confusion (whereas the First, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits do not).

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