I am working on a project and we were trying to figure out a name for it. We came up with Scribblez but it turns out Scribbles (with an s) is already out there. How much does a name have to change to be different enough legally? Does spelling even matter?
Your Scribblez would definately infringe upon Scribbles, unless they are being used in 2 different industries (McDonalds gas station is not going to be confused with McDonalds restaurant).
The exact difference needed is typically determined by the lawyers. They will give risk assessments, low/medium/high, etc. Spelling can lower risk, but doesn’t necessarily remove all risk. And generic terms muddy the situation too. For example, Quality Tool probably wouldn’t sue another Quality Tool. But Kwalyti Tool would more likely sue another Kwalyti Tool. And neither Quality Tool or Kwalyti Tool would sue each other.
As iab said, a lawyer can help you determine whether or not a name infringes, and yes if it is for different industries your risk is less. Certainly check to see what industries your product falls into. I learned recently that many trade show product offerings fall under the blanket of “office supplies” and we quite often have to check through dozens of names to find one we can use.
Point is, your product might fall under the blanket of another industry that you might not expect, a lawyer or your marketing folks should know this though.