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Comprehensive Trademark Search

Comprehensive Trademark Searches: Are They Worth It?

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

15 July 20233 min read

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Comprehensive Trademark Search

Did you know that more than the free trademark search you can conduct online is needed to prove your trademark is safe to register? It's true. While it does help, a comprehensive trademark search is much more detailed and can pick up the registrability of design elements.

Trademark attorneys will also look over common law and foreign-registered trademarks.

Let's get started by answering the question, "What is a comprehensive trademark search.” Let’s explore the different aspects of trademark searches:

What are the 3 different aspects of trademark searches?

Trademark searches are more complex than we may often presume. Trademark attorneys should perform different types of searches. This is so business owners can get a good idea of the risk surrounding their intended mark.

They're all essential to prevent a future trademark infringement lawsuit.

(1) Federal trademark search

Also known as USPTO database searches, these kinds of trademark searches examine the registry of already existing marks to assess whether any conflict with your own. The search engine used will look at pronunciation, spelling, and many other variables.

(2) State trademark search

A trademark search of this kind will examine the trademark database for each state. Because smaller local business owners tend to file trademarks within states instead of federally, it's essential to investigate this.

(3) Common law trademark search

A common law trademark search differs from federal or state trademark searches. There’s no registered list to work through. This search involves finding unregistered marks that may be similar to yours. And it looks for marks that have been used before yours. Despite not having federal or state rights, these trademarks are still protected under the common law.

What is a knock-out trademark search?

A trademark attorney can conduct a knock-out search. It's a preliminary trademark search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) database. The reason for conducting this search is to determine the likelihood of confusion of any similar or identical marks. This is a crucial part of any trademark application.

What defines a comprehensive trademark search?

A comprehensive search evaluates exactly what a knock-out trademark search does, but it also looks at the following:

  • The design elements in marks.
  • State and common law trademarks.
  • Trademarks registered in foreign jurisdictions.

Because of how detailed it is, I can’t overstress the importance of a comprehensive trademark search .

Why conduct a comprehensive trademark search?

This advanced trademark search is much more detailed than a traditional knock-off one. The comprehensive trademark search report comes with several advantages. But most notable is that it gives a good look at the actual risks involved with registering a particular mark.

It also helps you investigate foreign jurisdictions. This is particularly useful if you want to expand internationally.

Always conduct a trademark search first

Before attempting to register, it's crucial always to conduct a trademark search first. These can prevent rejections and ensure that your trademark registration process goes smoothly. I suggest getting in touch with a qualified trademark attorney for this reason. A comprehensive trademark search conducted by a licensed attorney is almost always a good idea.

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What is the weakest type of trademark?

Generic trademarks are the weakest kind of trademark. They aren't capable of being registered, either. These include terms that are commonly used for goods or services. For instance, you couldn't register "noodles" for a noodles-based product.

What is the strongest trademark classification?

Fanciful trademarks are considered the strongest trademark classification. These trademarks have no other meaning outside of their role as a trademark. Consider "Pepsi," "Xerox," or "Kodak." These are all fanciful marks.

What are the different types of trademark searches?

There are two different types of trademark searches. One is known as a "knock-out search," and this is conducted on the USPTO Federal Trademark Register. Then there are "comprehensive trademark searches." These are performed using specialized software and can often be hundreds of pages long.

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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.