Steak Umm v. Steak ‘Em Up

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks
  • Date Filed: 04-11-2012
  • Case #: 09-2857
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Stengel
  • Full Text Opinion

Injunctions for trademark infringement cannot be granted if the trademarks are not likely to cause customer confusion.

Opinion (Stengel): Steak Umm, a national purveyor of frozen meat products, alleged that Steak ‘Em-Up, a Philadelphia pizza shop and corner grocery, infringed on its trademark, and sought injunctive relief to prevent trademark infringement. The court used a ten-factor test – known as the Lapp factors in the Third Circuit – to determine that no likelihood of confusion existed. First, the marks were not similar. Second, the phrase “Steak Umm” was suggestive of the product, but did not actually identify it. Third, the prices points were similar, but the products were different. Fourth, they were both using their trademarks for six years without evidence of actual confusion. Fifth, Steak ‘Em Up adopted its name independently, without influence from Steak Umm. Sixth, there was no evidence of actual confusion. Seventh, the goods were not marketed through the same channels, but did use some of the same advertisers. Eighth, there was little geographical overlap in some of their campaigns. Ninth, consumers would not expect either company to expand into the other’s market. Tenth, in the totality of the circumstances, confusion is not likely. Accordingly, the court DENIED injunctive relief for the plaintiff.

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