To a great many people in Southern California, the law regarding infringement of trademarks, copyrights or intellectual property in general is so confusing, it is humourous. Whether you live in Indio, Riverside, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, CA, San Diego, Huntington Beach, Orange County, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or Newport Beach, you are as likely to be confused by the law of infringement as someone who lives in La Jolla, Anaheim, Irvine, Westwood, Santa Monica, Westminster, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Buena Park, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga or Yorba Linda.
The standard for whether there has been an infringement by one person of another’s intellectual property, namely their patent, trademark or copyrighted work, often comes down to whether there is the “likelihood of confusion” in the public.
To test this test set forth by the courts and by statutes, I went out into the public to see how readily the public was confused.
I didn’t have to go far to find confusion.I found a dog walker trying to find an address.
“Can I help you find something?” I asked her.”I’m confused,” the dog walker said.
“I thought 64th street would be right after 63rd street.”
“They put another street between the two,” I said, “just to confuse people like you.”
“Figures,” the dog walker said.
Clearly, the city was guilty of infringement on a person’s senses and well being.
I next went into a coffee shop that wasn’t one that I normally went into. But instead of having the normal choices of tall, grand and venti, this shop had single, double and triple.I could see that I wasn’t the only one confused.
I asked the person standing in line ahead of me, “Is a triple three times the size of a single, or is it the same size but with three shots of espresso in it?”
“Beats me,” the person said. “What I want to know is what these low-fat sticky buns have that could possibly make them low-fat.”
I wondered, with such confusion among members of the public, was this coffee shop infringing on either the other coffee shop’s terminology or were we, the public, just naturally confused about things.
I decided I needed to see someone really smart, so I went to see a professor who was in part responsible for the new atom smasher and the super collider to see if he was faring any better than the rest of us.
“Professor, can you clear up some confusion the public is having?” I asked.
“I’ll certainly try, but first I’m having difficulty understanding how some news channels can ignore facts when they report the news.”
“We all wonder that,” I told the Professor.
“But they simply report dogma, assume that their opinions are correct and arbitrarily reject anything to the contrary. Or worse, they simply state what they want to believe and sprinkle it with a few facts.”
The Professor was clearly confused. “Is that how we scientists should be doing our work? Reject any type of testing or experimentation or observation to develop our theories?”
I left the Professor in a highly agitated state of confusion. Clearly the news anchors were adding to the public’s confusion.
I found myself wandering inside the mental ward of the local hospital for some clarity.
“Are you confused?” I asked one of the patients.
“Not at all,” he replied. “I know who I am today and even if I think I’m someone else tomorrow, I still won’t have any doubt about it.”
“What if you think you’re me tomorrow?” I asked.
“I still won’t be confused,” the patient said. “What you feel is up to you. Like they say, I’m okay, You’re okay. Who cares if anyone moved the cheese.”
I left the mental ward feeling much better about things. Confusion is in the eye of the beholder. The infringer isn’t the one confused. He may cause confusion in others, but the infringer is actually quite happy with him or herself.
At least some of the public appeared not to be confused, even if they might only be the ones believing they are someone else.
If you have an intellectual property matter in Orange County, San Diego, in Riverside, Palm Springs or anywhere in Southern California, we have the knowledge and resources to be your Riverside Trademark Lawyers, and Orange County and San Diego Trademark Attorneys. For this reason, be sure to hire a California law firm with trademark lawyers who are ready to serve you in many areas such as Chino Hills, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Palm Desert so you are properly represented when you need to be.
If you have an intellectual property matter and need to know your rights, call the Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson, or visit our website at http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com and learn about your rights and options. You can also call us to speak directly to Sebastian Gibson on the phone about your legal matter.