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Mele v. Davidson & Assocs., Inc., 2006 WL 1644693, 79 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1518 (W.D.N.Y. 2006).
Factual Background Edit
The case revolved around the hotly-contested question of which company used the “Blizzard” mark first in connection with the sale of music. Blizzard Records began using the mark in 1986 — well before Blizzard Entertainment did.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
Judge Elfvin found that the record company had abandoned the [[mark] in 1987 and did not begin using it again until 1999.
Blizzard Entertainment — the successful computer game company — registered the “Blizzard” mark in 1994, but only for computer and videogames, so that, by itself, did not help the company. On the other hand, in 1995, Blizzard Entertainment began selling recordings of the music from its game soundtracks, using its “Blizzard” mark.
Since 1995 was before 1999, Blizzard Entertainment used the mark for music before Blizzard Records did. And that meant that Blizzard Entertainment’s use of the mark does not violate any trademark rights that Blizzard Records may have had.
The court also found that Blizzard Records’ use of “Blizzard” to sell music does not infringe Blizzard Entertainment’s trademark rights either. It didn’t because Blizzard Entertainment itself introduced evidence proving that its customers are “brand savvy,” and thus there is no likelihood that they would be confused about the source of recordings bearing the “Blizzard” trademark.