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Is your trademark too similar to a registered mark?

One important factor in the creation of a new business is finding a way to get the public excited about it. You have a product or service you want to offer, and attracting customers is critical to your success. Undoubtedly, you ruminated about the best mark for your trade, something that would be easy to recognize and be memorable.

Protecting your trademark includes registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once you decide on the mark you will give your product or service, you will want to ensure no other entrepreneur infringes on your trademark to draw customers away from you. Applying for registration is the first step. The problem arises when the USPTO refuses to register your mark because of its similarity to another trademark.

Reasonable chance of confusion

The USPTO commonly denies the registration of trademarks because they are too similar to trademarks with existing registration. The legal standard USPTO uses is "the likelihood of confusion." In other words, if the general public could become confused about the two trademarks, the agency will deny your request for registration.

Upon receiving your application, an attorney at the USPTO will research existing marks to see if there is a similar mark already registered or whose registration is pending. The attorney will take into consideration how similar the marks are and how closely related are the products or services you and the other trademark holder offer. Your mark may not be identical to the other, but the agent will determine if a reasonable consumer would find the two marks confusing because they are comparable.

Your best chances for success with your registration

An agent of the USPTO can give you no warning of whether your application for registration will be successful. He or she will not advise you if there are other marks similar enough to jeopardize your chances of obtaining a trademark registration or do a preliminary search for you. This is something you must do on your own before you pay the money to submit your application.

However, attorneys with experience in trademark law often have access to extensive databases. You may benefit from consulting with such a Texas attorney and taking advantage of the helpful resources available. You will also find such an advocate valuable if you face a dispute regarding your trademark.

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Houston, TX 77002

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