Likelihood of — well, no, actually. Not.
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 — a trademark case involving companies with the same name — 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 — independent grounds to grant defendant’s motion for summary judgment:
Although Plaintiff and Defendant share the same mark, they offer completely distinct services to distinct consumers in separate markets. Plaintiff’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 Defendant’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 parties’ common use of the ‘Sand Hill Mark’ 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: