What is meant by phonetic equivalents?

Phonetic equivalents are words that sound-alike creating the possibility of confusion between the two words (for example ‘CAT’ and ‘KAT’). Phonetic equivalents are important because they indicate how an existing mark may be perceived by a consumer as too similar to your proposed mark.If phonetically equivalent marks exist in the same industry there is a strong possibility of consumer confusion and the proposed mark may be rejected.