The legal standard for trademark infringement is “likelihood of confusion.” If consumers are likely to be confused about the source of a product, or whether a company sponsors or approves of a product, that is trademark infringement.
The use of a similar mark on a similar product is likely to cause confusion and result in a claim of infringement. Not so for a similar mark on a completely unrelated product. Trademark infringement cases most often arise when two marks bear some limited similarity and are used for products that are somewhat related. Using a similar mark on disparate products or services may present problems under other legal theories, however.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a family name or surname be trademarked?
- How long does it take get a trademark or service mark?
- What constitutes trademark infringement?
- What is the difference between a trademark and service mark?
- What is the difference between state and federal trademark?
- Will a state trademark protect a nationwide brand?