The next issue at hand is the sophistication of the consumer purchasing merchandise from Rodolfo Fitness and Kevin Rodolfo, Inc. A sophisticated customer in general is someone who purchases high price, high quality items and is generally assumed less likely to be confused. However, evidence of actual customer is an exception to the general rule of a sophisticated customer and favors the trademark holder. Several factors are weighed to determine the sophistication of a consumer such as; the nature of the item, the location of sale, the profession of the consumer, general impression of the item on an ordinary consumer and the price of the item. Star, 7; Sports Authority, 5; Morningside, 5.
In Star Industries v. Bacardi & Co. Ltd, the plaintiff…show more content… v. Morningside Capital Group, L.L.C., the plaintiff filed suit against Morningside Capital asserting trademark infringement, and demanded Morningside Capital discontinue its use of “Morningside” mark. Morningside, 1. Frequently Morningside Group received phone calls from financial professionals who intended to call Morningside Capital but did not realize the two were unique companies. The court determined that the customers were sophisticated as the they consisted of a limited group of professionals who were able to invest large sums of money after significant research , but the court noted even well-educated sophisticated consumers from the financial profession were confused by the company names. The court determined it cannot rely only on the sophistication of the buyer in this case because it was outweighed by the evidence of actual confusion. The court found this factor in favor of Morningside Group. Morningside,…show more content… v. Prime Hospitality Corp., the plaintiff brought a trademark infringement suit against Prime Hospitality Corp, to discontinue the use of the name “Sports Authority” in Prime’s restaurants. The Sports Authority (TSA) was a sporting goods and apparel retailer operating in the New York area and throughout the United States. TSA received a service mark and trademark on “The Sports Authority”. Sports Authority, 1. Prime operated sports related restaurants named “Sports Authority Food, Spirts & Sports”, within hotels it owned in the New York area. Sports Authority, 1. Both companies ran radio advertisements on the same networks in the New York area. TSA and Prime restaurants received phone calls from confused consumers trying to reach the others business. The court assessed sophistication of consumers by considering the general impression left with an ordinary purchaser and the relative price of the items. Sports Authority, 5. The court determined TSA and Prime customers were likely not sophisticated consumers as both business sold items at a relatively inexpensive price. Evidence of ordinary consumer confusion was paramount to the case. The court weighed this factor in favor of TSA. Sports Authority,