It is very important even now to determining similarity of trademarks.
It is effective to argue that there is the actual state of transactions of the goods/services for which the trademarks are used where the “appearance” and/or “meaning” of trademarks constitute more important elements to distinguish the origin of goods/services than “pronunciation” thereof.
If such “actual state of transactions” exists, it could constitute the reasonable ground.
You need to make the Examiner understand that not only your products/services but also “general” goods/services designated in your application are usually sold in the situation where the consumers pay attention to the appearance of trademark rather than its pronunciation.
For example, you have a trademark registration to exclusively use the mark “ABC” for the goods “computers”, and you are now selling your computer products with the registered mark in the manner that the consumers pay attention to the appearance of the mark rather than its pronunciation.
However, you will be able to use the registered mark for other computers which are sold in the manner to draw consumer’s attention to its pronunciation, of course.
That’s why it is required in application cases that there is “general” actual state of transactions of goods/services to atract consumer’s attention to the elements of trademark other than its pronunciation.
Then, let’s discuss more concretely in the next!