Trademark search is the most crucial step in the trademark registration process, as many applicants may know. After conducting a trademark search, we would then have to determine whether there are any prior similar trademarks. Do you know what are the Criteria for ascertaining similarities in trademarks?
You can conduct a trademark search easily on your own using the Trademark Office’s free trademark search function to search the trademark by its name, class, or combination. This can be done easily by referring to the methods we have taught you before. Nonetheless, determining similarities in trademarks could be difficult for many people.
This step usually challenges trademark agents the most, as it requires them to exercise judgement based on relevant knowledge and experience related to intellectual property rights.
- If two Chinese trademarks are composed of the same Chinese characters, but are different only in terms of their fonts, designs and arrangements, they are similar trademarks;
- If two trademarks are of the same foreign language, and contain identical letters or number but are different only in terms of their fonts and designs, they are similar trademarks
- If the trademarks are composed of two identical foreign words, but are different only in terms of the orders of the words and are largely in different in terms of the meanings they entail, they are similar trademarks;
- A trademark is a similar trademark if it merely adds general names, models, adverbs or adjectives related to its commodities onto a prior registered trademark by another person.
Above are some ways to determine whether your trademark is regarded as a similar trademark. The general idea is to ascertain whether the trademark would confuse customers with an existing trademark, making it hard for customers to differentiate the trademark from other prior trademarks. Thus, if the trademark is not obviously different from an existing trademark, it is usually deemed similar.