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Andris said juries are usually asked to take several factors into consideration when deciding a trademark dispute, such as whether a name is generic and the likelihood of confusion between the two names.
By Andris’s judgment, Union Square Ventures has made a pretty good case. The fact that confusion has already occurred is “a very good indicator of whether there’s likely to be confusion” in the future, he said. It’s also reasonable to think that a third party could wonder whether the two VC firms are affiliated because they’re both in the same industry, he said.
Union Square Ventures is seeking to have Union Square Partners barred from using that name, and to have the defendants hand over three times the amount of any profit made from their alleged trademark infringement. Andris said courts in recent years have been demanding more proof than in the past that trademark infringement has directly earned profit for defendants.
“In a situation like this, it is going to be a battle of the experts [in court],” he said, “and the experts are going to have to have palpable evidence of causation.”