What are Confusingly Similar Trademarks in 2022
“What does the concept of confusingly similar mean when we talk about trademarks?” This question and its answer are critical for brand owners conducting trademark registration in the UAE. Brand owners with a good understanding of the likelihood of confusion are more likely to get their trademark application approved by the UAE Trademark Office and less likely to infringe on the rights of other trademark owners. The advice of trademark agents in the UAE can also be helpful for you in this direction.
If your proposed trademark is deemed confusingly similar to other existing trademarks, the owner of the original mark can formally object to it. It can lead to the rejection of your trademark application if the opponent’s claim has merit. Since confusing similarity can have a significant impact on the fate of your potential trademark, it is better to learn what it is before registering a trademark in the UAE. Read ahead to know what are confusingly similar trademarks:
What do we mean by trademark confusion?
If two brands in the same industry use trademarks that are similar, an average consumer will become confused while seeing the products. The consumer may first see your trademark in association with a certain product and then at a later time. However, when seeing the second product with a similar mark, he or she would be confused into believing that the source of the products is the same.
Similarity due to Related Goods or Services
Two trademarks can be deemed confusingly similar if they represent similar goods or services. If a phone brand and a phone accessory brand have similar names, they can be confusingly similar. For example, Apple iPhone and PineApple mobile phone-charging adapters can be confusingly similar. However, if PineApple represents a swimwear brand, it may not constitute a likelihood of confusion as customers will be able to distinguish between the sources of origin even if the names are similar.
Confusion due to Visual Similarity
The case of visual similarity usually comes with the logos of famous trademarks. Here, the likelihood of confusion may arise when the design, fonts or letters depicted in the logo are confusingly similar. Adidas has protected its famous ‘three-stripes’ logo through trademark registration in various jurisdictions. It has filed trademark infringement cases against other brands in the same industry for releasing products containing logos that are visually similar to the Adidas logo. Apparel brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever21, and Marc Jacobs have released logos that are visually similar to that of Adidas.
Phonetically Similar Trademarks
Some trademarks may create a likelihood of confusion as they sound similar when pronounced. This constitutes phonetic similarity. Some examples of this type of infringement are ENTELEC vs INTELLECT, LAKME Vs LIKEME and SEYCOS vs SEIKO. Consult with trademark agents in the UAE for more advice.
What is the impact of trademark confusion on your business?
The existence of a confusingly similar trademark in the market can severely impact your revenues and brand reputation. You will also lose some of your loyal customers as well. Consider this as an example: You have a yoga pants brand called PANTYOG. A potential customer visits a store and sees your product with the trademark ‘PANTYOG’. She likes the product and decides to buy it from the same store next week.
However, she saw yoga-related products named ‘PANT-YOG’ when she visited the store the next week. The customer liked PANTYOG’ but bought PANT-YOG’, thinking both are the same. This constitutes brand confusion and you have lost a potential customer and revenue because of this confusion.
How to avoid the likelihood of confusion while filing a trademark application?
Come up with a strong and distinctive brand name while selecting a trademark in the UAE. Furthermore, you need to conduct a comprehensive trademark search with the help of trademark agents in the UAE. Your agents can search the official trademark database to see if any similar marks have been previously registered. In this way, you can avoid facing opposition from other parties.
Consult with the Best Trademark Agents in the UAE
The process of trademark registration in the UAE can be tough for you if your proposed mark is confusingly similar to another one. The likelihood of confusion can lead to not only the rejection of your application but it may increase the risk of trademark infringement. However, you can avoid such unforeseen events by hiring the best trademark agents in the UAE such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP).
JIP is a full-service Intellectual Property Service firm that comprises a team of highly qualified trademark agents who are well-versed in IP laws and regulations. JIP’s services are not limited to the UAE. We also provide trademark registration and renewal services in GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain etc. JIP also provides international trademark registration services in Dubai as per the Madrid Protocol.