Likelihood Of Confusion Office Action | Trademark Registration Step By Step

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Have you received an office action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark application that you filed?
I'm going to be open and honest regarding your options. Trademark registrations can be difficult if you are a new business owner with little to no experience regarding trademark law. I want to help relieve some of this stress. Reach out to ArtsMusicLawyer on Instagram. Skype and FaceTime consults available. For more information regarding trademark law visit my courses at

Likelihood of Confusion Office Action

Hi! If you're watching this video, it's because you have received an office action which lists a likelihood of confusion as one of its issues. I'm going to be completely honest and transparent when I tell you that it is one of the most challenging and difficult issues to overcome. The US Patent and Trademark Office is essentially telling you there's somebody out there who has already attempted to register or has already registered a mark similar or the exact mark that you are now attempting to register. For obvious reasons, the trademark office will not register two of the same names that have a likelihood of confusion.

So the next obvious question is so what do we do to overcome these issues? I'm going to give you a couple of solutions. One is that you completely abandon the mark and you just drop everything as is or you can submit a cancellation and basically choose a new name and start from scratch. You basically have the opportunity to come up with a new name that doesn't have the potential to have a likelihood of confusion and go about your way.

The second option is to come to an agreement with the owners of those other registered marks or applied for marks. Now, this one is very difficult and time-consuming because it requires that your attorney reach out to them and see if those companies are those people will allow you to also use the name while they're using it. Usually, an agreement is drafted where you agreed to stay in your lane and they also agreed to stay in their lane. So an example would be if you own a vodka company and the other registrant owns a restaurant company then the restaurant company agrees to never open a vodka company and the vodka company agrees to never open a restaurant. And so that's what I mean by saying that each person or each company will stay in their lane. That avoids any likelihood of confusion. Now, keep in mind that this is not a guarantee that the US Patent and Trademark Office will accept this agreement, but it is an option and you know it is a strong option if you don't want to just abandon or give up your mark right away.

A third option is to submit an argument directly to the US Patent and Trademark Office to the trademark examiner that is listed on your office action and explain why your mark is different than the other ones that are listed. Sometimes the trademark examiner's will accept it, but most of the time, they will not accept the argument because they have already found a reason to list a likelihood of confusion in your office action. So the chances of trying to convince them are slim to none though not impossible. So for those of you that like I said don't want to give up on your mark and want to you know go through every last possible option to try and keep your mark and potentially register it, those are some options.

Now, another option is to go ahead and try to register your mark all over again which means that you would abandon this one but you would reapply once again with the same name. This means that a different trademark examiner would be assigned to your trademark application and so the chances might be different. Like I said, a different examiner might yield different results.

But none of these options are guarantees. I thought it was important to notify you of all of these options and explain to you what this issue means because lots of clients say well, I've already invested so much money in my brand, are you telling me that I wasted money on an application and there is no guaranteed solution to being able to register this mark? And everything I explained to you in this video is the most transparent and the most honest that I can be with you, so I hope that you really listen to it, take it to heart and listen to my other course on how to pick a name to register as it will definitely help you in your journey to selecting a new name if that's the option that you choose.

If you have any other questions email Trademark courses available at
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