Lynnwood, WA asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Washington

Q: Can a Trademark be similar to another without penalty,i.e. "Happy Place" vs. "Your Happy Place" for example?

1 Lawyer Answer
John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Livonia, MI

A: It is important to remember that the purpose of a trademark is to protect consumers' right to know what they are buying and from whom not to provide a creative ownership interest for registrants. If there is consumer confusion, the USPTO will file an Office Action in response to the application.

Therefore, the question is more specific than simply whether the verbiage is similar ... The USPTO will look at whether the products or services being marketed with a given tag-line are likely to confuse consumers as to the quality or source of the product or service.

In other words, it depends on what you're selling relative to what they are selling. However, you should discuss your proposed application with a trademark registration attorney prior to filing an application.

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