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Q9. How is the similarity of trademarks judged?

Q9. How is the similarity of trademarks judged?

A9. In judging the similarity of trademarks, appearance, sound and concept (connotation) are comprehensively taken into consideration. Generally, the most important factor in the judgment is the sound of trademarks.
The judgment of similarity may vary in examination, appeal, and litigation.
On examination, Examiner judges the similarity relatively mechanically or uniformly according to the Examination Guidelines provided by the JPO. However, on appeal/litigation, appeal Examiners/courts take actual business circumstances, such as trade conditions, into consideration. Therefore, the judgment concerning trademarks on appeal/litigation is more flexible or comprehensive than on examination.