At least in some parts of the country, LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION is something judges actually sometimes don’t find. Out there, for example. No, the other side — yeah. The left. As Michael Atkins explains:
In Sand Hill Advisors, LLC v. Sand Hill Advisors, LLC â€” a trademark case involving companies with the same name â€” the Northern District of California found that northern California is big enough for both parties. . . . For good measure, the court also found no likelihood of confusion â€” independent grounds to grant defendantâ€™s motion for summary judgment:
Although Plaintiff and Defendant share the same mark, they offer completely distinct services to distinct consumers in separate markets. Plaintiffâ€™s assertion that the parties overlap in the area of real estate services paints with too broad a brush. The record unequivocally establishes that Plaintiff and Defendantâ€™s respective businesses share little, if anything, in common. The lack of overlap is underscored by the paucity of evidence of actual confusion, which consists of nothing more than a few misplaced calls and a misdelivered package over the course of the last ten years. Viewing the record in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court finds that no reasonable jury could find that the partiesâ€™ common use of the â€˜Sand Hill Markâ€™ is sufficient to create a likelihood of confusion.
That’s right: “The paucity of actual confusion”–here’s a case where there actually was confusion, which is considered to be the silver bullet, usually mythical, of proving LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION, and the judge says, very nice, Mr. Plaintiff, but: