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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

A stark circuit split mars the consistency of trademark infringement analyses within U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal; some circuits review likelihood of confusion as a matter of fact, while others review it as a matter of law. This disparity places appellants at a disadvantage in some circuits and unnecessarily hinders the function of appellate courts by constraining their review of a substantially subjective balancing of facts. This Note concludes that although the individual factors indicating a likelihood of confusion are issues of fact, the ultimate issue of likelihood of confusion should be reviewed as a matter of law, allowing Circuit Courts to ensure that the complex, multi-factored analysis is applied consistently.

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