Tax notes: Similar trademarks

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

ONE aspect in determining whether trademarks are confusingly-similar is their similarity in appearance. Trademarks may be confusingly-similar in spite of the deletion, substitution, or addition of letters or words. In the US, the following trademarks were held to be confusingly-similar: NEWPORT for outer shirts and NEWPORTS for ladies’ shoes; COMMCASH and COMMUNICASH, both for banks; TURCOOL for cutting oil and TRUCOOL for synthetic coolant; LUTEX for non-resinous chemicals and LUTEXAL for resinous chemicals, both used in the textile industry. In these cases, the marks also sound the same even if their spelling is not identical. This is related to the idem sonans rule: trademarks with different spelling but with similar sound.

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Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2014.


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