If You Don't Get The Matching Brand Paper Towel Out Of A Dispenser In A Restroom... Is That Trademark Infringement?
from the wash-your-hands,-everybody dept
GP is claiming that the other company is guilty of contributory trademark infringement, which would mean that anyone using these replacement paper towels could be guilty of direct trademark infringement, which seems like a blatantly ridiculous reading of trademark law. The lower court agreed that this was ridiculous and found no evidence of any kind of confusion among the distributors involved in selling and stocking the EnMotion dispensers. However, the appeals court points out that it also needs to be considered whether or not the real end-users were confused -- and notes that there's significant evidence that people might be confused. I still don't buy it. I can't recall ever even caring what brand paper towels comes out of a dispenser. If asked I might just say the same brand as the dispenser company, but that's just because it's the easiest answer, not because it needs to be.
For now, the case has been sent back to the lower court to determine whether or not end-users are really confused. Perhaps the court can hold part of the session in the court's restrooms to determine whether or not there's a real "likelihood of confusion."