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Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SUMMER 2019, Volume 44, Number 2

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Thomas A. Ward
CommScope

Welcome to the summer edition of New Matter for 2019. The cover art for this issue illustrates the trademark doctrine of "reverse confusion" and highlights the feature article in this issue on reverse confusion. The cover art deals with a British case which falls under different trademark rules than the U.S., but provides a good illustration to understand reverse confusion based on the famous Bentley automobile mark. The Bentley 1962 clothing mark was a senior user in clothing to the Bentley automobile company, which ventured into the clothing market as a junior user recently and overwhelmed the Bentley 1962 company.

Reverse confusion occurs when a junior user engages in such extensive promotion of goods under a mark that the market is swamped, resulting in a likelihood that consumers will mistakenly believe the senior user’s goods are associated with the junior user. "In a reverse confusion situation, rather than trying to profit from the senior user’s mark, the junior user saturates the market and "overwhelms the senior user." 3 J. Thomas McCarthy, McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition 23:10 (2006). With this basic understanding involving the cover art, we hope that you find the feature article on reverse confusion informative and enjoyable.

The IP Section Annual Meeting this year will be held in Las Vegas on November 12-14, 2019. Vanguard award winner candidate voting is open as can be seen from the notice herein until June 14. If you would like to nominate a candidate, please do so as soon as possible.

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