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Trademark Confusion: Proving or Defending Against Infringement

Addressing Forward, Reverse, Initial Interest, Post-Sale, and Affiliation Confusion Challenges

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will prepare trademark counsel to understand the different types of trademark confusion and meet the challenges of each. The panel will discuss applications of the likelihood-of-confusion standard and will review recent developments in trademark confusion.


Virtually all trademark owners and their counsel wrestle with the complex issue of likelihood of confusion. Understanding the different types of likely confusion is counsel's first step to avoid the pitfalls in pursuing or defending against trademark infringement claims.

Forward, reverse, initial interest, post-sale, and affiliation confusion are the five main types that counsel must understand and identify.

Intelligence from experienced trademark counsel can prepare practitioners to monitor their marks and identify and prove trademark infringement.

Listen as our authoritative panel of trademark attorneys examines the many types of trademark confusion, the challenges of each type, and the recent court treatment of the different types. The panel will offer best practices for applying the likelihood-of-confusion standard. Finally, the panel will also discuss how to defend against claims of trademark infringement.



  1. Types of trademark confusion
    1. Forward
    2. Reverse
    3. Initial interest
    4. Post-sale
    5. Affiliation
  2. Recent court treatment
  3. Best practices for applying the likelihood of confusion standard
  4. Defenses against claims of trademark infringement
    1. Fair use
    2. Prior use
    3. Use of mark in violation of antitrust laws
    4. Mark is functional
    5. Equitable defenses


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How are courts treating initial interest confusion and post-sale confusion?
  • What are the pitfalls of pursuing and defending against reverse trademark infringement claims?
  • What kinds of evidence are persuasive to prove likely confusion?
  • What types of evidence are required to defend against trademark infringement claims?


Davis, Theodore
Theodore H. Davis, Jr.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Mr. Davis's practice focuses on domestic and international litigation and client counseling in the fields of...  |  Read More

Litowitz, Robert
Robert D. Litowitz

Kelly IP

Mr. Litowitz has over 30 years of experience in litigating patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property...  |  Read More

Perry, Louis
Louis T. Perry

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Mr. Perry represents clients in intellectual property litigation. A member of the firm’s trademark, copyright,...  |  Read More

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