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If 2 company names are similar, but one is for goods,and the other services is this considered likelihood of confusion.

Lansing, MI |

For example "Shelly LLC" would sell clothes and shoes and "shelly and Company LLC" would provide counseling services to individuals.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Not necessarily. When analyzing whether or not there is a likelihood of confusion, several factors are considered. Some of the factors include whether or not the goods and services are similar, whether or not the channels of trade are similar, whether or not the customers would be similar, etc. It seems in this case that, although the marks are similar, several of the other factors point to a finding of no likelihood of confusion. With the above in mind, however, you need to seek the assistance of a trademark attorney to conduct a more detailed analysis.

    The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and does not form an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Mr. Malek correctly identifies that liklihood of confusion has more than its "plain English meaning" would indicate.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  3. Read the following, quoting directly from the TMEP, the manual the US Pat. & TM Office uses to instruct its examiners how to analyze for likelihood of confusion determinations.

    http://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/detail/manual/TMEP/Apr2013/d1e2.xml#/manual/TMEP/Apr2013/TMEP-1200d1e5044.xml

    As you see, it's not that simple and not a black and white matter. There are usually many shades of gray. You need to consult an IP attorney if you are still in doubt after reading the TMEP section linked above. Do not think you can be your own attorney. You should not be revealing your specifics on Avvo, a public forum. Seek an initial consultation with an IP attorney. Most of us, me included, offer free initial consultations.

    Bruce Burdick
    www.burdlaw.com

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


  4. This may or may not constitute likelihood of confusion, and much more information would be required before any lawyer could answer this question. If the trademark is very famous, likelihood of confusion could be created in this situation, even though the two companies exist in different industries and serve different groups of customers. Further, depending on the nature of the consulting services, there might be an overlap in customers and competitors. For example, a company that provides counseling and advise to companies in the clothing business might legitimate claim consumer confusion if the clothing company used its name. Likelihood of confusion issues are very fact specific, and without knowing many more facts and details, this question cannot be answered. If you face a situation like this, you need to retain experienced intellectual property counsel to conduct a detailed legal analysis on the likelihood of confusion issue. This web-site is not a good or appropriate shortcut for legal counsel in a situation like this.

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