Fancaster, Inc. v. Comcast Corp.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks
  • Date Filed: 12-22-2011
  • Case #: 08-2922 (DRD)
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Debevoise
  • Full Text Opinion

In order to prevail in a trademark infringement case, the plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence to prove a likelihood of confusion; it is not enough to just allege that there is an infringement.

Fancaster, Inc. (“Fancaster”) and Comcast Corp. (“Comcast”) were both companies that offered videos online through their websites. In 1999 Fancaster registered “FANCASTER” as a trademark to be used for broadcasting and communication services. In 2003 Comcast had a player called “FANCAST”, on it’s website, which allowed users to view video content. Comcast then applied to have FANCAST be a trademark. Fancaster opposed Comcast’s application and then filed suit against Comcast for trademark infringement and alleged that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks. The court applied the Lapp factors which are similarity of the marks, strength of the marks, intent of adopting the mark, the relationship of the services in the mind of the consumers, sales efforts and marketing channels, actual confusion and length of time without actual confusion. The court found that all the factors weighed heavily in favor of Comcast. Fancaster was unable to produce sufficient evidence to prove trademark infringement by Comcast and the court GRANTED Comcast summary judgment.

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