CorbinForensics delivers strategic advice, business intelligence and forensic evidence for boardrooms and courtrooms. We provide actionable support in the following areas:
CorbinForensics is well-known for its comprehensive evaluation of brands/trademarks to determine how they are perceived, referred to, or used in the marketplace. Reliable and valid measurement methods are available, customized to specific objectives, and implemented with a high level of quality control. Outcomes include measurements of reputation and fame, secondary meaning, distinctiveness, confusion, passing off, genericism, or social media “buzz”.
Equally important is the investigation of trademarks, comparative advertising by others, or competitive brand usage that risk infringement or depreciation of an organization's valued brands.
Evidence of brand and trademark reconnaissance contributes essential facts and analysis to dispute resolution, through mediation, arbitration or litigation. Corbin Forensics’ evidence has been tendered before Canadian and international courts, Copyright Board of Canada, Advertising Standards Canada, the Trade-marks Opposition Board, and private adjudicators.
Corbin Forensics' BrandAudit™ template assesses strengths and vulnerabilities in how brand owners manage and protect their brands against risks of infringement and depreciation.
Comparative Advertising/Claim Assessment
CorbinForensics has Canada’s most authoritative competitive claims testing practice. Sound, scientifically-designed testing is used to establish or challenge a competitive claim, by assessing what an advertisement truly conveys to a target audience. Rigorous quality controls are employed. CorbinForensics is proud to have:
- led the industry consultation project that produced Advertising Standards Canada’s (ASC) guidelines for competitive claims;
- produced published guidelines for use by mediators, regulators, arbitraters and courts in resolving advertising disputes
- authored the international text on comparative advertising titled 'Practical Guide to Comparative Advertising: Dare to Compare', a reader-friendly corporate handbook on the principles for issuing and defending against competitive claims.
Corbin Forensics' Marketplace Investigations simulate consumer shopping experiences, through discreet mystery shopping or Internet searches, scientifically structured to qualify for quantitative statistical analysis. Investigations may also thoroughly document the state of the marketplace, with respect to product lines, market shares, store displays, or promotional programs as displayed in retail stores or online shopping sites. CorbinForensics' investigators operate with objectivity and attention to detail.
Use of unbiased, independent expert investigations, in lieu of investigations by law firm staff, respects Rule 82 of the Federal Court Rules, and aligns with case law in e.g., Toys "R' Us (Canada) Ltd. v. Herbs "R" Us Wellness Society, 2020 FC 682 or Cross-Canada Auto Body Supply (Windsor) Ltd. v. Hyundai Auto Canada, 2006 FCA 133
CorbinForensics offers systematic identification, assessment and valuation of an organization’s intellectual property.
An IP Audit produces an essential reference for Executive Teams and Boards of Directors to:
- identify potentially undervalued assets
- document the extent of IP legal protection, for corporate governance and risk management
- alert the company to compromises to brand consistency and other threats to IP value
- consider untapped revenue opportunities
- conduct due diligence for potential bank financing, corporate transactions, or contractual agreements
Class Action Information Support
Market evidence can support, or dispute (depending on research outcomes), the certification of a class action lawsuit. Evidence can be gathered for claims of misrepresentation, allegedly defective products, products shown to cause harm, financial misrepresentation, institutional neglect, and misleading advertising.
Sources of evidence include:
- Scientific sampling for reliable analysis of class action characteristics, as permitted by statute
- Surveys of class members on issues in dispute
- Calculation or forecasts of damages
- Statistical analysis of large databases containing relevant evidence
- Professional opinions based on expert literature review or market reconnaissance
Product and Service Evaluation
CorbinForensics offers research support for existing or potential products/services, where relevant to competitive disputes. Examples include:
- Usage and attitude studies, relevant to reputation and distinctiveness
- Sensory testing, relevant to claims
- Market segmentation, relevant to whether competitive markets overlap
- Forecasts of buying intentions (relevant to damages)
- Marketing claim testing, in anticipation of potential challenge
- Audits of features/functionality
Judicial, Regulatory, and Commission Input
Projects for direct use by courts or regulatory commissions have included the following:
- Tariff setting for users of Copyrighted Material
- Compensation of Government-paid officers and professionals
- Assessments of potential jurors for jury selection or ‘change of venue’ application
- Competitive impact analysis for evidence regarding likely irreparable harm
- Market forecasts
CorbinForensics’ analysis and market evidence have been presented to a diverse range of judicial bodies, regulatory forums, and commissions, including the: Federal Court, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, British Columbia Supreme Court, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Quebec Superior Court, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Trade-Marks Opposition Board, the Ontario Municipal Board, the Copyright Board of Canada, Advertising Standards Canada, the Competition Bureau Canada and the Triennial Judges’ Compensation Commission.