How does the USPTO act in case of a likelihood of confusion?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

Once your mark gets assigned to a US examiner, they will perform a detailed assessment. You can receive an office action stating the issue of the "Likelihood of confusion" even if the examiner finds a mark that is not identical to yours.

Generally, the examiner will compare your mark to those marks that were filed or registered before your application filing. If the examiner rules that your mark is phonetically similar to an earlier mark, they will likely issue an office action. The same applies to those cases in which the marks in question share visual similarities or evoke the same impression.

It is important to note that the "Likelihood of confusion" only concerns those instances where the goods and services are related or similar. The compared goods and services do not have to be identical for the "Likelihood of confusion" to arise.

If the USPTO examiner determines a "Likelihood of confusion" arising between the trademark application and another registered mark, the applicant will receive a refusal. If a similarity arises between the trademark application and another earlier-filed pending application, the applicant will be notified, and an office action will be issued.

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