James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of Beefeater, Inc., No. 77-1740

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore SWYGERT and CUMMINGS, Circuit Judges, and EAST; PER CURIAM
Citation572 F.2d 574
PartiesJAMES BURROUGH LIMITED and Kobrand Corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SIGN OF the BEEFEATER, INC. and Montgomery Ward & Co., Incorporated, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date31 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 77-1740

Page 574

572 F.2d 574
197 U.S.P.Q. 277
JAMES BURROUGH LIMITED and Kobrand Corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
SIGN OF the BEEFEATER, INC. and Montgomery Ward & Co.,
Incorporated, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 77-1740.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Jan. 17, 1978.
Decided March 1, 1978.
Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied May 31, 1978.

Page 576

Henry W. Lauterstein, New York City, W. Thomas Hofstetter, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Albert E. Jenner, Jr., Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellees.

Before SWYGERT and CUMMINGS, Circuit Judges, and EAST, Senior District Judge. 1

PER CURIAM.

For the second time in this trademark infringement case, the plaintiffs-appellants (Distiller) appeal from a judgment in favor of the defendants-appellees (Restaurant). At the initial trial, the district judge granted Restaurant's motion for a directed verdict at the close of the plaintiffs' evidence and dismissed the complaint. We reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. 540 F.2d 266 (7th Cir. 1976).

In our decision we delineated the test to be used in determining trademark infringement. We noted that besides the opposing parties, "the consuming public, is present and its interests are paramount. Hence infringement is found when the evidence indicates a likelihood of confusion, deception or mistake on the part of the consuming public." 540 F.2d at 274. We also held that the district court erred in considering certain factors in its decision to direct a verdict for Restaurant. We held that a judicial side-by-side comparison of Distiller's label and Restaurant's sign was impermissible. "(T) he test is not whether the public would confuse the marks, but whether the viewer of an accused mark would be likely to associate the product or service with which it is connected with the source of products or services with which an earlier mark is connected." Id. at 275. Second, we held, "It was likewise error below to postulate a requirement that Distiller suffer 'economic disadvantage' or that Restaurant's use of its sign be 'economically harmful' to Distiller." Id. Third, we held that "the fame of Distiller's mark BEEFEATER precludes limitation of its effect in the marketplace to merely a trademark for gin and renders erroneous the district court's finding 'that the registered word Beefeater gives plaintiff an exclusivity in the use of that word limited in its application to alcoholic beverages.' " Id. at 276-77 (footnote omitted). Finally, we rejected the district court's analysis and conclusions regarding the plaintiffs' consumer survey. We said in part: "The record, as it now stands, establishes the consumer survey herein to have been fairly and significantly conducted by qualified experts and impartial interviewers." In conclusion Judge Markey wrote:

In the absence of contrary evidence, therefore, it must be presumed that at least 15% Of the restaurant-going public, upon seeing the accused sign, would mistakenly believe that Distiller is "sponsoring or promoting" the restaurant identified by that sign. That mistaken belief evidences a likelihood of confusion, deception, or mistake regarding the sponsorship of Restaurant's services sufficient on

Page 577

this record to establish Distiller's right to relief.

540 F.2d at 279 (footnote omitted).

Following remand, Restaurant had its own consumer survey conducted. At the second bench trial, Distiller chose to rest as its case-in-chief on the evidence presented at the first trial. Restaurant introduced its survey and five witnesses, including Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, a political science expert with no market research experience, who testified that Distiller's survey was unreliable because the key question was leading. In rebuttal, Distiller called Dr. Michael Ray, a psychologist and market research expert, who supported the validity of Distiller's survey. The district judge credited Restaurant's expert over Distiller's expert regarding the surveys, and on other points generally followed the reasoning it had adopted at the initial trial. The judge made numerous findings of fact and conclusions of law and entered judgment in favor of Restaurant. 2

On appeal Distiller contends first, that the trial court did not follow the law of the case upon remand, and second, that the trial court erred in holding for Restaurant on the issue of laches and estoppel.

I

When a court states a rule of law which is to be applied in the case before it, the court establishes the "law of the case"...

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72 practice notes
  • Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., No. 81-2483
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 16, 1982
    ...court must apply the decision of a superior appellate tribunal on remand. See, e.g., James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir. It is the second situation which is before us in this case. Welch contends that the trial court failed to properly apply the S......
  • Brunswick Corp. v. Spinit Reel Co., Nos. 84-2581
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • October 15, 1987
    ...and, as such, gives rise to a claim for relief so long as the infringement persists." James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 578 (7th Cir.1978). See also 4 Callmann, Unfair Competition Trademarks and Monopolies, Sec. 22.50 at 260 (4th ed. 1983) [Callmann]. Thus, B......
  • American Auto. Ass'n (Inc.) v. AAA Ins. Agency, Inc., Civ. No. A-84-CA-157.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
    • August 23, 1985
    ...of a name or mark that is most important in gauging the likelihood of confusion. See James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir.1978). In fact, in similar cases in which the defendant had adopted as the dominant part of its name substantially the identica......
  • Laffey v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., No. 78-1365
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 1, 1980
    ...571, 574 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 948, 87 S.Ct. 323, 17 L.Ed.2d 227 (1966); James Burrough, Ltd. v. Sign of Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir. 54 White v. Higgins, 116 F.2d 312, 317 (1st Cir. 1940); Estate of Iverson v. Commissioner, 257 F.2d 408, 409 (8th Cir. 1958); Un......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
72 cases
  • Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., No. 81-2483
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 16, 1982
    ...court must apply the decision of a superior appellate tribunal on remand. See, e.g., James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir. It is the second situation which is before us in this case. Welch contends that the trial court failed to properly apply the S......
  • Brunswick Corp. v. Spinit Reel Co., Nos. 84-2581
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • October 15, 1987
    ...and, as such, gives rise to a claim for relief so long as the infringement persists." James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 578 (7th Cir.1978). See also 4 Callmann, Unfair Competition Trademarks and Monopolies, Sec. 22.50 at 260 (4th ed. 1983) [Callmann]. Thus, B......
  • American Auto. Ass'n (Inc.) v. AAA Ins. Agency, Inc., Civ. No. A-84-CA-157.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
    • August 23, 1985
    ...of a name or mark that is most important in gauging the likelihood of confusion. See James Burrough Ltd. v. Sign of the Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir.1978). In fact, in similar cases in which the defendant had adopted as the dominant part of its name substantially the identica......
  • Laffey v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., No. 78-1365
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 1, 1980
    ...571, 574 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 948, 87 S.Ct. 323, 17 L.Ed.2d 227 (1966); James Burrough, Ltd. v. Sign of Beefeater, Inc., 572 F.2d 574, 577 (7th Cir. 54 White v. Higgins, 116 F.2d 312, 317 (1st Cir. 1940); Estate of Iverson v. Commissioner, 257 F.2d 408, 409 (8th Cir. 1958); Un......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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