China -  Chinese law firm

What are the criteria for determining similarity of a trademark?

Similarity of trademarks is determined by TMO based on two aspects: (1) the similarity of the designated goods/services and (2) the similarity of the trademarks.

With regard to the first aspect, as mentioned above, International Classification of goods/services is adopted in China, and TMO classifies the goods/services under each International class into several sub-classes. Generally, goods/services under the same sub-classes are considered to be similar. On the contrary, goods/services under different sub-class may not necessarily be considered similar.

With regard to the second aspect, i.e., the similarity of the trademarks, different criteria are applied according to the form of the trademarks. For example, if two trademarks are both simple word marks, TMO will compare them and determine their similarity based on three criteria: pronunciation, appearance and meaning of the marks. The essence of the criteria is, whether there is a likelihood of confusion to the consumers, when separately comparing the marks.

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