Devon Goocher applied to register MYCAH for music concerts, among other services. The USPTO refused registration based on a registration on MIKA for live performances by a musical entertainer in In re Goocher, Ser. No. 87214736 (TTAB Setp. 20, 2018)
Two marks may be found similar if there are sufficient similarities in the sound or appearance or connotation of the marks. Here the similarity in sound was enough to find the marks were similar.
The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board noted that:
…it is very likely that consumers will pronounce Applicant’s mark MYCAH in the identical way that they would pronounce Registrant’s mark MIKA, that is bi-syllabically with the first syllable being pronounced the same as the word “my,” as the vowels “I” and “Y” are often interchanged in, for example, common names such as Sidney and Sydney. In the second syllable, both the “C” and “K” can be pronounced with a hard “k” sound as in the words “cat” and “Kentucky,” with the “A” and “AH” having the same neutral sound.
Goocher tried to argue the marks were pronounced differently “in reality.” However, the Board noted that “there is no ‘correct’ or certain pronunciation of a mark because it is impossible to predict how the public will pronounce a particular mark….”