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Trademarks: Phonetic Similarity

Smith Hopen Intellectual Property Term Glossary Definition for Trademarks: Phonetic Similarity
Similarity in sound is one factor in determining whether the marks are confusingly similar. See In re E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361, 177 USPQ 563, 567 (C.C.P.A. 1973); In re White Swan, Ltd., 8 USPQ2d 1534, 1535 (TTAB 1988).  Some examples of phonetically similar marks found confusingly similar:

  1. XCEED and X-SEED
  2. ISHINE and ICE SHINE
  3. SYCOS and SEIKO
  4. CRESCO and KRESSCO
  5. ENTELEC and INTELECT
For more information, see 1207.01(b)(iv)  Similarity in Sound – Phonetic Equivalents.


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