The standard used by the United States Patent and Trademark office in evaluating registration is likelihood of confusion. If you are filing for a Federal Trademark and the same mark is already registered, simply changing the spelling will not automatically differentiate your business from another company.
When there is an alternative spelling or intentionally-changed version of an English word, the Trademark examiner will conduct a pseudo mark search of existing Trademarks. This pseudo mark search locates spellings that are very similar or phonetically equivalent to your proposed Trademark. (For example: Kat & Cat would be interpreted as the same mark). The best practice is to create a name that is not comparable to another company.
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