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.”
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.