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When are you violating someone else’s trademark rights?  OR, flip-side, when should you get in touch with someone you think might be infringing your trademark and ask them to change it?  

How can you interpret your search results when you type your trademark into the USPTO website?

I received this great question in an online business community, CoCommercial, and realized I’ve never dug into how lawyers, courts, and the USPTO evaluate when trademarks are too close.

This is a meaty episode on a complex topic, where I covered:

  • Consumer confusion – what trademark law is intended to prevent, and why this matters
  • Who has “priority rights” over a trademark in the US
  • When might you need to evaluate whether one trademark is too similar to another?
  • How to figure out if trademarks are too close
  • Does it matter if one trademark has a few extra words?
  • What about different spelling?
  • When are two logos too similar?
  • Does it matter if someone copied a trademark intentionally, or by accident?
  • Examples of trademarks that are and are not too similar
  • When you need to bring in an experienced IP attorney to help you evaluate a potential trademark infringement

Key takeaway: trademarks do not have to be identical to potentially be infringing!  

If you have questions about whether one trademark is too close to another, post them in our Legal Road Map® Facebook group!  Just request access and we’ll let you right in.

Next month we’re diving into the legal issues that come up with running a location-independent business.  You will definitely want to tune in if you’ve ever thought about living that laptop life and traveling the world while running your business!  Tune in next week for the first episode in this series.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit. You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.