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How to avoid your trademark being similar to an existing one

By on Jan 16, 2016 in Intellectual Property |

When creating a new product or starting a company, it is natural that it has a name and a recognizable logo. But before you think of the name, the font and the logo’s appearance, it is necessary to explore other registered brands, in order to avoid your logo or name being too similar to an existing one.

There are ways to browse through already registered companies. If you live in the USA, you search for all the registered company names is possible through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If you need to check whether the logo is similar to an existing one, rather than words, the search will be conducted through a specific design code. In order to do it, you should to consult a design search code manual.

Trademarks and Avoiding Consumer Confusion

                There are two conditions that trademarks need to meet in order to be considered similar. First, their names or logos are similar, and second, their products or services are similar, so the consumers can be mistaken that they come from the same source. We learn a lot from  daytona business lawyer.

 When it comes to similarity of names or logos, there are four main ways in which they can be considered similar and thus confusing:

1. Sound – the names are spelled differently, but they are pronounced the same – they are phonetic equivalents.

2. Appearance – the font of the brands’ names are different, but the name is the same.

3. Meaning – if you want to use a name in English and in your country there already is a company with the name of the same meaning, but in another language (e.g. “Princess” – “Principessa”)

4. Commercial impression – the trademarks use the same design element, or their names convey similar general meaning.

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Another issue is similarity of goods and services. Even if the trademarks are confusingly similar, it may not be a problem if the companies differ in the area of business. However, the brand name should be reconsidered if the goods, services or both goods and services are similar to the company of a conflicting name or logo.

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