What Does a “Likelihood of Confusion” Mean?


A “likelihood of confusion” is the legal standard for whether trademark infringement exists. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an administrative federal agency and it cannot determine that one trademark infringes another. However, the Trademark Office’s job is to issue federal registrations only on trademarks that are not likely to cause confusion with a trademark that is already registered.

There’s a number of factors that go into deciding that there is a “likelihood of confusion.” If you have received this rejection on a trademark application that you filed yourself or through a legal assistance services company like Legal Zoom, then your next step should be to contact a trademark attorney like myself. The trademark examiner’s decision is not necessarily final and is definitely open to debate. However, your next response to the Trademark Office needs to be a legal argument, and you now need a trademark attorney’s help to prepare that response for you.

If you have received this rejection on your trademark application and don’t know what to do next, then contact me for a free consultation to assess the situation and to give you an idea of your chances of overcoming the rejection and the cost involved.

Related Topics:

What Makes a Trademark “Distinctive” and Why Does That Matter?

Can I Use the Same Trademark as Another Company?


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