How do I know if an already registered mark is too similar to the trademark I want?

24 October, 2018

If your brand is too similar to a registered trademark and the areas of businesses overlap, a trademark register may reject your application in order to prevent customer confusion.

Common reasons for confusion include:

  • EXACT MATCH to a famous mark, regardless whether the areas of business overlap, or to another trademark for a similar product or service. For example, JAGUAR as a trademark for shoes is unlikely to be accepted since JAGUAR is a well-known mark owned by Jaguar Land Rover Limited. Likewise, COPYCAT as a trademark for file backup software is unlikely to be accepted since COPYCAT is already a registered mark for a similar business.
  • SIMILAR SOUND, meaning that a consumer might not receive the correct product when they ask for a brand by name. For example, COPYCAT and KOPYCAT.
  • SIMILAR APPEARANCE, meaning that the marks look similar at a glance. For example, COPYCAT and COPYACT.
  • SIMILAR CONCEPT, meaning that the marks may use different words but convey the same idea. For example, SNEAKY COPYCAT and SLY COPYCAT.