Trademarks are an essential aspect of any business as they help to distinguish a brand from its competitors. A trademark identifies and indicates the source of goods and services by a symbol, slogan, phrase, or design.
Trademarks not only help consumers to identify a particular brand, but they also help businesses to protect their intellectual property rights. However, when two trademarks are too similar, it can confuse consumers. This is known as the likelihood of confusion. This article will explore five examples of similar trademarks, how they have led to confusion among consumers, and where to find one of the leading trademark law firms.
Adidas vs. Adidog
Adidas is a well-known global brand that specializes in sportswear and footwear. Adidog, on the other hand, is a small company that creates pet clothing and accessories. However, the name Adidog is very similar to Adidas, which has led to confusion among consumers.
In 2017, Adidas filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Adidog, claiming that the company’s name and logo were too similar to Adidas. Even though the dispute was resolved out of court, it serves as a reminder of the importance of selecting a distinctive and identifiable brand.
Apple vs. Pear
Apple is one of the world’s renowned brands, known for its innovative technology products such as the iPhone and iPad. On the other hand, Pear is a small startup that creates educational software for children.
A trademark application for Pear’s logo, a green pear with a leaf on top, was submitted in 2018. Apple objected to the trademark, alleging it was too close to their own, which depicts an apple that had been bit and was therefore infringing. In the end, Pear’s trademark application was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office due to a potential for confusion.
Coca-Cola vs. Koka-Kola
One of the most well-known brands, Coca-Cola, is recognized for its sweet and energizing carbonated drinks. Conversely, a small business called Koka-Kola makes an energy drink with a cola flavor. However, consumers have been confused by Koka-Kola’s name because it is close to Coca-Cola.
In 2019, Coca-Cola filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Koka-Kola, claiming that the company’s name and logo were too similar to Coca-Cola. The case is still ongoing but highlights the importance of choosing a unique and distinguishable trademark.
McDonald’s vs. MacDo
As one of the world’s largest fast-food chains, McDonald’s is known for its tasty burgers, fries, and milkshakes. MacDo, on the other hand, is a French fast-food chain that also specializes in burgers and fries. However, the name MacDo is very similar to McDonald’s, which has led to confusion among consumers.
Due to the company’s name and emblem being too similar to McDonald’s, MacDo was sued for trademark infringement by McDonald’s in 2017. Although the case was ultimately rejected, it serves as a reminder of the value of selecting a distinctive and identifiable trademark.
Skype vs. Skyper
Users of the well-known communication tool Skype can have voice and video calls over the Internet. On the other hand, Skyper is a small company that produces a device for cleaning windows. However, the name Skyper is very similar to Skype, which has led to confusion among consumers.
In 2018, Skype filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Skyper, claiming that the company’s name and logo were too similar to Skype. The case is still ongoing but highlights the importance of choosing a unique and distinguishable trademark.
Importance of Hiring a Trademark Attorney
A trademark attorney can provide invaluable expertise and guidance in protecting intellectual property rights. It is crucial to know and comprehend the significance of having legal protection for your business’s name, logo, and other intellectual property. Without this protection, you could lose valuable assets and be vulnerable to theft or infringement of your original work.
The likelihood of confusion is a serious issue that can harm a business’s reputation and revenue. When choosing a trademark, choosing a unique and distinguishable name, logo, or design that sets your brand apart from competitors is important.
It is also crucial to research to ensure that your trademark is not too similar to already-existing trademarks to prevent customer confusion. By taking these steps and consulting a trademark attorney, businesses can protect their intellectual property rights and ensure their brand is easily identifiable to consumers.
At the Law Office of Jerry Joseph, get business services, a patent, a trademark, copyright protection, and brand registration. Contact us if you need to consult a trademark attorney in Washington, DC!