Likelihood of confusion

One very common trademark application issue is likelihood of confusion with another registered or pending trademark. Depending on the specifics of the cited mark or marks, an Office Action containing likelihood of confusion can be a major obstacle in the way of registration. The main thing the examiner will look at is whether a consumer is likely to confuse or mistake your trademark for another. In determining this the examiner will look at the text, logo, appearance, sound, and entirety of your mark’s commercial impression. It is important to note that such confusion must be probable, not just possible. Other factors that play a part in determining likelihood of confusion include the strength and distinctiveness of the cited mark, relation of goods/services, consumer sophistication, third-party use, quality of goods, advertising and sales, and other relevant evidence. There are other options to deal with likelihood of confusion such as negotiating a co-existence agreement with the owner of the cited mark. Likelihood of confusion is one of the tougher issues to deal with and at the end of the day it all may come down to examiner’s opinion. Before fighting it is important to consider all possibilities and outcomes.

This blog is not legal advice and is not specific to your application. You should always consult an attorney.