If a business has a similar name but offers different services, is that considered infringement?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2014

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If a business has a similar name but offers different services, is that considered infringement?

For example, Fetch My Pet – pet finding service for lost pets vs. Fetch My Pet transport – pet transportion service.

Asked on December 30, 2014 under Business Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It *may* be some form of infringement (e.g. trademark infringement) or unfair competition in the case you describe, if the businesses operate in the same geographic area and/or market; that is because even if their services are not identical, they are close enough (pet finding vs. pet transportation) that a customer could reasonably think they are sourced from the same company. That is (in a thumbnail) the test for many forms of infringement: whether a customer could be reasonably confused as to the source of goods or services, or the identity of businesses.

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