NERA Insights Webinar | Best Practices for Presenting Survey Evidence in IP and False Advertising Litigation

19 March 2020

Surveys are the most commonly accepted means of answering key factual questions about consumer perception in trademark, trade dress, and false advertising cases. Questions about the protectability of marks, the likelihood of consumer confusion, and the materiality of statements in advertising can all be answered, at least in part, with the benefit of a well-designed, well-executed consumer perception survey. But what exactly makes a survey well-designed and well-executed?

In this free, live, one-hour webinar, held on Thursday, 19 March, at 12:00–1:00 pm EDT, NERA Associate Director Healey Whitsett and Christopher Ford, an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, will:

  • Discuss the legal framework through which survey evidence is commonly introduced in trademark and false advertising litigation;
  • Examine several methodological pitfalls through the lens of best practices; and
  • Review the impact of key methodological issues—ones frequently identified in court opinions discussing (or rejecting) expert survey reports—can have on survey data and results.
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Healey Whitsett
Associate Director, NERA Economic Consulting

Christopher Ford
Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton

Healey Whitsett is an Associate Director based in NERA Economic Consulting’s Washington, DC, office. She is an expert in survey research and methodology, statistical sampling, and custom data analysis, and has applied this expertise across a wide range of consulting projects and litigation cases. In her survey research work, she has worked extensively on matters involving intellectual property disputes, including trademark, trade dress, and false advertising cases. Her trademark-related work includes designing and conducting studies to measure or establish likelihood of confusion, secondary meaning, genericness, and dilution. She is also experienced with choice-based studies designed to value patented product features.

Christopher Ford is an Associate in Debevoise & Plimpton’s Litigation Department, and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group and Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Practice. His practice focuses on trademark, cybersecurity, and data privacy issues. He has represented clients in trademark and trade dress cases in federal court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board. His cybersecurity and data privacy practice includes advising clients on incident preparation and response, as well as related criminal and civil litigation and regulatory investigations. His recent matters include managing responses to corporate data breaches, ransomware incidents, and other data security issues, as well as assisting a wide range of the firm’s clients in managing their cybersecurity and related supply chain risks.


This webinar is co-hosted with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is accredited by the New York State CLE Board and the State Bar of California (#4332) as a provider of continuing legal education. The program is being held with the intention that its attendees qualify for 1.0 CLE credit hour in areas of professional practice. The program is appropriate for experienced attorneys only.

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