There are certain reasons why companies seek to protect their brand name under Trademark protection. They invest a certain amount of money in their brand name to build a successful brand.
There are lots of brands available in the market and how you can avoid to infringe third person’s Trademark. You can start by understanding more about how infringement works.
7 Factors for Identifying Trademark Likelihood of Confusion
This is where the rules of Trademark likelihood of confusion come under section 2(d) of the Trademark Act states that-
“No Trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it…..(d) consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark office, or a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned, as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive..
Why identifying Trademark Confusion Matters
Identifying identical Trademarks in the market which can cause confusion in the minds of customers is as important as your initial naming process as it is for any Trademark watching you have in place. Obviously you do not want to submit an application that will be rejected. At the same time it is important to see that no one is infringing your important assets.
The 7 factors for identifying Trademark Likelihood of confusion:
- Relatedness of Goods and Services- Before application of the Trademark it is very important to see for identical goods and services also. The connection between similarity of the two brand names and the relative closeness of the goods and services is an important one.
- Similarity of Marks- One should search for similarity of marks whether visually or phonetically. Similar marks can cause confusion in the minds of consumers.
- Similarity in Appearance- Marks can also be too similar and confusing when it comes to their appearance and design.
- Similarity in Sounds- Similarity in sound is phonetic match between the sounds that means that there is likelihood of confusion amongst consumers. For eg Seycos vs Seiko, Entelec Vs Intelect.
- Similarity in Meaning- among the important factors influencing likelihood of confusion is the marks meaning in relation to the goods and services description. Being identical in sound and appearance might still be completely different in their commercial impression. For eg. Cross-Over Vs Crossover.
- Design Marks- The likelihood of confusion between design marks is determined based on the similarity of their visual presentation. No one usually views marks side by side and the recollection of marks is very general. Therefore, visually similar marks can be confusing even if they constitute completely different goods and services.
- Likely to Deceive- Can’t get any easier of this- deception is quite obviously a bad thing. However, deception would involve intent which can be extremely difficult to prove in practice.