Asked in Trademark for Kentucky

Q: Hi. I am looking at the trademark OTHELLO. I was wondering if the trademark applies only to the stylized word "OTHELLO".

could I use the work Othello, instead? (Only the O would be capital, while the rest would be lower case).

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ

A: There are at least ten live trademark registrations for the mark OTHELLO as used with a variety of goods and/or services. At least a few of those are for the word itself, without any stylizing. In any event, the real question you need to address would be whether or not there is a reasonable likelihood of confusion in the eyes of the consumer. This question hinges on both how similar the marks are and how similar the goods and/or services are. The more similar the goods and/or services, the less similar the marks have to be. Without knowing what specific goods and/or services you would offer with the mark, and then comparing those to the goods and/or services offered by all of the other holders of various OTHELLO marks, it's impossible to do the likelihood of confusion analysis. However, for the most part, adding or removing style, color, capitalization, etc., from the same exact word does very little to distinguish one version of that word from another. Using an extreme example to demonstrate the point, do you think you could sell food under the name "mcdonalds" just because you wrote it in all lowercase without the font/color that McDonalds uses?

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