Doing a Phonetic Search of trademark is something that should be of top priority when you are serious about protecting your brand. If left unattempted and unaddressed you may be flirting with your financial investment and hence it is important to ensure right at the beginning that your mark is phonetically not similar to any other mark that are already available in the market. So, the first and foremost thing that we need to know is “what is meant by phonetic equivalents”?
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.
Why to do Phonetic Search?
There are plenty of reasons that can be given in support of the fact that why should we do phonetic search however, below are some of the most common reasons for the same.
Eradicating Likelihood of Confusion: One of the most important purposes of doing phonetic trademark search is to eradicate the likelihood of confusion. For a trademark to be granted it is important that the mark is distinct and different from other marks that are available in the market so that customers get the only product they were looking for. Any attempt to confuse customers and buyers can lead to rejection of a mark and thus it is important to do phonetic search of your mark.
Avoiding International registration issues: Many patent offices like USPTO, WIPO and EPO may raise issues in granting trademark if your mark is phonetically similar to an already existing mark and thus it is important to avoid it right at the initial stage of the trademark filing.
Avoiding Trademark Infringement: Even if you are not infringing someone else’s wordmark you may be held liable for infringing someone else voice mark and thus it is important to do Phonetic Search so as to avoid any kind of trademark infringement at a later date.
Avoid Brand Devaluation: If you are infringing someone else voice mark you are devaluing the brand reputation of an already existing product as it may cause likelihood of confusion to the end user.
All we can say that including phonetic trademark search in a comprehensive trademark search can help you a lot in long-run and hence it is very important to do it right at the time of conceptualizing and protecting your brand.