Risk of confusion

The Risk of confusion is a legal term used in the field of trademark law. It exists when a trademark or sign is so similar to an existing trademark right that consumers could confuse them with each other. The likelihood of confusion is a key criterion for assessing trademark infringements and for trademark applications.

Factors that can influence the risk of confusion:

  1. Similarity of the marks: The more similar two trademarks are in sound, typeface or meaning, the greater the likelihood of confusion.
  2. Similarity of the goods or services: The more similar the goods and services registered in the trademark register are to those of the infringing trademark, the more likely it is that there is a likelihood of confusion.
  3. Enhanced distinctiveness of the earlier mark: An already known trademark often has a higher level of protection against the risk of confusion, as it has a greater impact on consumer perception.
  4. Consumer attention: The likelihood of confusion also depends on the attention of the average consumer. Highly involved or expensive products are less likely to be confused.
  5. Interaction: The above points interact with each other. The more similar the marks are, the greater the distance between the goods and services can be and vice versa.

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