Changing the spelling of a word to distinguish it from a Trademark

Elliott Stapleton Trademark

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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About the Author

Elliott Stapleton

Elliott is a partner in the firm of Cornetet, Meyer, Rush and Stapleton, LPA. His business clients range from small single member companies to large privately held businesses. Elliott’s legal services include advice on Business Formation and Transactions, Real Estate Transactions, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Administration.