Anybody equate DreamWorks (of Antz, Shrek, Beautiful Mind, etc. fame) with Dreamwerks (the sci-fi convention organizer)?
In Dreamwerks Production, Inc. v. SKG Studio, 142 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 1998), Judge Kozinski held that DreamWorks reverse infringed on Dreamwerks trademark. (Reverse infringement is where the junior user, most recent adopter of the name, is a much larger entity than the senior user, oldest adopter of the name. In these cases the concern is that the junior user’s promotions and reputation will overtake the scenario users. I am not buying his conclusion that because DreamWorks and Dreamwerks are both in the entertainment industry that people are likely to confuse them. Anybody confused by that a Dreamwerks sci-fi convention is related to DreamWorks the movie production company? While they do sound the same, is the “reasonably prudent consumer” likely to confuse the two? I would argue that the Harlem Wizards and Washington Wizards are much more similar services than movie production and sci-fi conventions and yet the court in Harlem Wizards Entertainment Basketball Inc. v. NBA Properties, Inc. 952 F. Supp 1084 (D.N.J. 1997) held that show basketball was separate and distinct from NBA basketball.
Is Kazinski right or was Harlem wrong?