In Dreamwerks Production Group, Inc. v. SKG Studio the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit evaluated whether the trademarks "Dreamwerks" and "Dream Works" were likely to confuse the reasonable consumer. Traditionally, a well-known, senior trademark user will sue a lesser-known, junior trademark user in order to protect its goodwill and prevent customer confusion. In Dreamwerks, however, the parties' positions were reversed, with the lesser-known, senior user, Dreamwerks Production Group, suing the better-known, yet junior user, SKG Studio. The Ninth Circuit held that, like every other new company, SKG Studio was required to select a name that would not cause consumer confusion with an already existing senior user.
Thomas J. Murphy,
Intellectual Property Law - Dreamwerks Production Group, Inc. v. SKG Studio, 29 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.