brand glossary: likelihood of confusion

Trademark term identifying the standard required to prove infringement of a trademark, where consumers will likely be confused or mistaken about the source of a product or service being sold under the mark. Several factors are considered, including, but not limited to, the similarity of the marks, and the similarity of the goods/services. For a conflict to be found, the marks don’t have to be identical, and the goods/services don’t have to be the same—only that they be “confusingly similar.” Proof of actual confusion is not required for infringement to occur, all that is necessary is to prove that a hypothetical, “reasonably prudent” consumer is likely to be confused by a same or similar trademark on competing goods/services. There is no “mechanical” test for determining likelihood of confusion, each case is determined on its own facts.

See also: Trademarks