Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. McNeil-P.P.C., INC case brief summary

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. McNeil-P.P.C., INC case brief summary

    Appellee manufactured Excedrin PM for more than 20 years, appellant introduced its Tylenol PM, which was also a combination analgesic/sleep aid. Appellee claims it will cause confusion under 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a)
    • HELD: The court affirmed finding that "PM," when affixed to an analgesic trade name, was descriptive of a combination analgesic/sleep aid and that the "PM" designator had not acquired secondary meaning.
      • To show secondary meaning, a manufacturer must show that in the minds of the public, the primary significance of a product feature or term is to identify the source rather than the product.
        • Can be shown with:
          • Amount and manner of advertising
          • Consumer studies
          • Direct consumer testimony
          • Sales success
          • Unsolicited media coverage
          • Established place in the market
          • Attempts to plagiarize
          • Length of exclusivity of use

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