Posted: August 30th, 2016
Bobbitco, Inc., a Tennessee based firm, produces small household appliances and distributes them on a nationwide basis. By far its best known product is a kitchen appliance known as the SLICE O MATIC. According to Bobbitco s frequent TV commercials, the electric powered machine slices, dices, slashes, and even mutilates, whatever your culinary (or other) needs. When Bobbitco uses the SLICE O MATIC name on the product itself or on boxes for the product, SLICE O MATIC always appears in cursive lettering. The same is usually, though not always, true of Bobbitco s uses of the SLICE O MATIC name in advertisements and other promotional material. Since 1987, Bobbitco has had SLICE O MATIC (in cursive lettering) registered on the Principal Register. SLICE O MATIC machines are not sold in stores. They are available only through mail and telephone orders.Lorena Corp. produces numerous kitchen tools and cooking utensils, which are sold in department stores in the southern states. Lorena hopes eventually to expand its business to a nationwide operation. One s of Lorena s newestproducts is a cheese slicer called the Slice o Magic. The Slice o Magic is manually operated (i.e., it is neither electric nor battery powered). Lorena, which has sold the cheese slicer under the Slice o Magic name since July 1996, consistently uses block style lettering for the Slice o Magic name. After Lorena ignored Bobbitco s complaints about Lorena s choice of a name for the cheese slicer, Bobbitco sued Lorena on the theory that Lorena s use of the Slice o Magic name infringed Bobbitco s SLICE O MATIC trademark. Which of the following statements provides a legally accurate analysis?
a) When the court determines whether the necessary elements of trademark infringement are present, it will regard as irrelevant the fact that Bobbitco sells its product by mail or telephone order, whereas Lorena sells its product in department stores.
b) Even though Bobbitco s SLICE O MATIC trademark features cursive lettering and Lorena s Slice o Magic appears in block lettering, the court is likely to conclude that the first element of trademark infringement is present.
c) Nothing in the facts suggests that Lorena deliberately set out to use a version of Bobbitco s trademark; therefore, the elements of an infringement claim cannot be met.
d) Bobbitco will lose the case because it cannot prove an essential element: that Lorena used a version of the Bobbitco trademark in connection with the same type of product as to which Bobbitco uses the trademark.
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