Aunt Jemima Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

In the context of trademarks, the aunt jemima doctrine states that a trademark is protectable not only from an act of copying but also from the use of any similar mark that would likely make the buyer think that the item bearing the similar mark comes from the same source as the trademarked item. In the Aunt Jemima Mills Co. case, Aunt Jemima Mills Pancake Batter held a trademark against which Aunt Jemima syrup was found to infringe, because syrup and flour were said to be food products that are commonly used together. The issue was whether it was fair to let the name's second user jeopardize the goodwill built up by the first user.