Case Study: Law – Name Infringement
Case 1: Settling a Name Infringement Legal Case
Before Hiring Ethridge
A local bank that operated in a small number of contiguous counties had been using the name of their bank for nearly 100 years. A larger bank that had used the same name in a neighboring state bought out one of the client bank’s competitors that operated branches in several of the client’s service counties. The client bank sued the larger bank for infringing on the use of their name.
This situation is one in which public opinion research is admissible as evidence in a court of law. For this reason, the client bank’s law firm hired Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. to conduct a public opinion study. The objectives of this research were to understand:
- How much equity the client bank had in the name in the bank’s counties served
- How much name confusion was occurring in the market due to the new bank’s entry to the market
- How much potential loss of business the new bank was causing for the client bank due to this name confusion
After Hiring Ethridge
As often happens with clients, this law firm contacted us late in the process; in this case, just a few days before this case was scheduled to go to court. Fortunately, due to our experience in very fast-paced political campaigns, we were able to design and complete a custom designed public opinion study within just a few days; so quickly, in fact, that it surprised the attorney who was not aware of how quickly firms with political polling experience can complete polling projects.
When the study was completed, we wrote a report and presented the results to the client attorney. He scheduled a “deposition” so that both he and the other bank’s attorney could depose Ethridge as an expert witness on the quality, validity and meaning of the poll.
As a result of our quality research, the client bank was able to get the infringing bank to settle out of court quickly, to the client’s satisfaction, at a cost that was far less than it would have been had they gone to court.