Amstar Corp. v. Domino's Pizza, Inc.

615 F.2d 252 (1980)

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Amstar Corp. v. Domino’s Pizza, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
615 F.2d 252 (1980)

JC

Facts

Amstar (plaintiff) filed suit against Domino’s Pizza (defendant) for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit sought to enjoin Domino’s from using Amstar’s federal registration of a domino trademark symbol. According to Amstar, which made packets of sugar and other condiments primarily sold in grocery stores, the use of the name Domino’s Pizza in conjunction with the sale of fast-food pizzas was trademark infringement and a false representation or designation of origin. Each side used a survey at trial on the issue of potential confusion about the trademark symbol. Amstar cited a survey in which female heads of household responsible for food purchases in ten cities were shown a Domino’s Pizza box and asked if they believed the company made any product other than pizza. If the women answered yes, they were asked which product, and 71% responded that the company also made sugar. That said, eight of the ten cities surveyed had no Domino’s Pizza restaurants, and the other two cities had only recently added such a store. All of the women surveyed were at home during daylight hours and responsible for grocery buying. In contrast, Domino’s submitted a survey conducted on the premises of Domino’s Pizza restaurants. Confronted with the surveys, the trial court found the Amstar survey to be fair and proper and the Domino’s survey to be contrived and inadequate. The trial court eventually found a likelihood of confusion between the name Domino’s Pizza and the use of Domino by Amstar in the sale of sugar and individual packs of condiments. The court ruled for Amstar and enjoined the pizza chain from using “Domino” or “Domino’s Pizza.” Domino’s appealed in part on the issue of the consideration of the Amstar survey.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ainsworth, J.)

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