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secondary meaning

Secondary Meaning – Get an Expert Survey

Secondary Meaning

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The concept of secondary meaning is straightforward in intellectual property matters. A secondary meaning survey typically seeks to assess whether a “significant” or “substantial part” of the customer class associates a trademark or trade dress with a single source.

Secondary meaning may be measured through questions such as the following:
  1. Have you ever heard of [the trademark] with regard to [the context]?
  2. (If “yes” above:) Do you associate [the trademark] with one company, more than one company, or no company?
  3. (If “one company” above:) What company do you associate with [the trademark]?

Secondary meaning exists if respondents associate the trademark or trade dress with only one company. Although not required (a.k.a "anonymous source rule), secondary meaning surveys may ask the third question (“what company”) as a way to identify whether the trademark or trade dress is typically associated with the plaintiff or the defendant.

The measurements from these questions can be compared against standard sources or past precedents, to evaluate whether or not secondary meaning is present in sufficient quantity as to be considered substantial or relevant.

Hundreds of law firms have trusted Call Harper Litigation Consulting and Research. Call today for a free case consultation. Fees for a secondary meaning survey begin at $35,000.

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