Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Rogers Imports, Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
216 F.Supp. 670 (S.D.N.Y. 1963)
Zippo Manufacturing Co. (Zippo) (plaintiff) manufacturers a successful line of pocket lighters. Rogers Imports, Inc. (Rogers) (defendant) began selling pocket lighters closely resembling Zippo’s. Zippo brought suit alleging unfair competition. To prove unfair competition, the plaintiff must establish consumer confusion, among other things. Zippo hired a firm to conduct surveys in which the respondents would be shown a pocket lighter and be asked to respond who they thought was the manufacturer. One survey found that 34.7 percent of respondents thought that a Rogers lighter was a Zippo lighter. Rogers objected to the introduction of the surveys.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Feinberg, J.)
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