Global Total Office Ltd. Partnership v. Global Allies, LLC, No. 10 C 1896, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 14, 2012) (Coleman, J.).

Judge Coleman denied plaintiffs summary judgment as to their Lanham Act infringement, deceptive trade practices and unfair competition claims.  All three required a factual finding of a likelihood of confusion, which the Court held was not amendable to summary judgment based upon the existing record:

  1. Similarity of the Marks.  The marks were visually “quite different” although they both included prominent use of GLOBAL.  But the differences weighed against a likelihood of confusion.
  2.  Strengths of Plaintiff’s Mark.  The strength of the GLOBAL mark was a fact question, although it was not immediately obvious as a strong mark.
  3. Actual Confusion.  The parties’ competing evidence of actual confusion largely required judgments regarding witness credibility that could not be made in a summary judgment decision.
  4. Parring-Off.  There was no actual evidence of passing off.
  5. Consumer’s Degree of Care.  The degree of care exercised by consumers was a disputed fact.
  6. Similarity of Products & Concurrent Use.  Whether the parties’ products might appear attributable to a single source was a disputed fact.