Thursday, March 1, 2012, 10:10 AM

You say "Visco" and I say "Iso" - What's in a Name?

On February 23, 2012 Michael Rothbard and Sleep Studio, LLC filed an action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Carpenter, Co. alleging trademark infringement.  (Case No. 1:12-cv-01347-RJS) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2012).  Sleep Studio alleges that its VISCOFRESH mark is infringed by Carpenter's use of ISOFRESH in conjunction with pillows, mattresses, mattress toppers, and other sleep related products.  Products sold by both companies allegedly help eliminate odors. 

Interestingly, plaintiffs allege one similarity in the marks is that ISOFRESH merely removes two letters from VISCOFRESH.  Of course, removing or adding letters is not the test for trademark infringement.  Rather, it is whether the marks are confusingly similar to the relevant consuming public.  While the marks are close, plaintiffs have an uphill battle because the "fresh" component is arguably suggestive and the ISO and VISCO components do not sound or look the same. 

Thanks to Furniture Today's Bedding Editor David Perry for breaking the news about the lawsuit.  David's article can be found here.

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