Trademark Protection

Similarity of Marks

To determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists, the marks are first examined for their similarities and differences. Note that in order to find a likelihood of confusion, the marks do not have to be identical. When marks sound alike when spoken, are visually similar, have the same meaning (even if in translation), and/or create the same general commercial impression in the consuming public’s mind, the marks may be considered confusingly similar. Similarity in sound, appearance, and/or meaning may be sufficient to support a finding of likelihood of confusion, depending on the relatedness of the goods and/or services.

The following are examples of marks that would be considered similar:


Although spelled differently, the marks sound alike; i.e., they are “phonetic equivalents.”


The marks look very similar, even though the one on the right uses a stylized font.


The marks are similar because, when the Italian word “LUPO” is translated into English, it means “WOLF.”

Commercial Impression

Because the marks include the same design element, they create a similar overall commercial impression, even though the one on the right also includes words plus the design.


The marks convey a similar general meaning and produce the same mental reaction.

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