How can I do a trademark search?
A free trademark search is quite easy to do. All you need to do is to enter your keyword inside the search box and click on search. If you’re in the early planning stages, a free search is a great idea. It will reveal any direct matches with pre-existing trademark registrations. As you start to develop the brand, it is usually worth investing in a more comprehensive search.
Why conduct a trademark search online for similar marks?
You should conduct a trademark search for a similar mark because it is cost effective and time efficient to do before applying for a trademark, rather than after. A trademark search can help to avoid apparent duplications of existing live marks and the government fees ($275) to trademark office are non-refundable.
It is easier for a new company to make name-changes before you invest too much time and money in building a possible conflict brand and later face to the risk of losing the goodwill. Searching with USPTO does not guarantee your rights to a particular mark. Someone could already be using a similar mark without registering it with the USPTO. If that is the case, registration could be subject to challenge by the earlier-user of the mark based on the common law trademark rights.
More about trademark search
In an ideal world, everyone would conduct a trademark search before adopting and using a particular brand. This would significantly reduce the number of trademark infringement suits filed each year and help businesses avoid the devastating and costly effects of losing a counterfeiting action and changing the trademark. But the reality is that there are thousands of companies and organizations in the United States that have been using their brands for many years and have never done brand research. In many cases, these companies have become quite large and have now decided that they want to invest to obtain a trademark registration in the United States.
Let's say you belong to the category of companies described above. In this case, you would not do any federal brand research to erase your brand from the point of view of use. You have already used it and it is unlikely that you will change brands even if the search revealed that someone else was using the same or similar brand first. Instead, you will probably only want to know if your brand is eligible for federal trademark registration. A complete search in the Trademark Office archives would provide you with this information and let you know if filing a trademark registration application would be a waste of money or not.
It is in your best interest to conduct a professional trademark search for you brand before advertising it for the whole world to see. In order to guarantee a professional brand search, you must search for a reputable company and ask it to do the research for you. If this process is unprofessional, you can never be sure that you are violating another brand and that you will be liable to prosecution in the future. Although you can search the USPTO for free on the Internet, this search is not exhaustive. By commissioning a cabinet to do so on your behalf, you will be sure that federal, state, and common law documents will be thoroughly researched. This is the most effective search. If your brand is considered unique, you assume no legal responsibility in the future. Make sure to ask the type of research that the company you want to mandate will perform. They should be able to do a complete search. Below are some of the reasons why it is advisable to conduct a comprehensive and thorough trademark search before you plan on using any trademark at all.
You Will Learn a Lot
You will learn a lot more from a full availability search. The research provides us with valuable information about the competitive landscape in the event that the USPTO issues a refusal to register. This can be a valuable asset and a source of defense if the trademark owner receives a letter of termination and withdrawal. By conducting a full availability search in advance, a trained trademark attorney can review the search results and provide advice on all of these issues, as well as whether the mark is relatively distinctive or whether the brand will enjoy a narrower protection framework.
It Does To Avoid Unnecessary Confusion
The brands are sold for the convenience of the buyers. These are attributed to brand owners so that buyers can identify the source of the products or services. In other words, we can say that this is intended to reduce confusion among buyers about the source of the products or services. Trademark registration research assesses the likelihood of confusion that a trademark may cause after registration.
Business Identification Security
Brand registration is the most effective way to secure your corporate identity, market position and business advantage. Your business is a unique intellectual property and you must protect it from any third party infringement.
- It Saves You the Trouble of Infringing on the Right of other People
When you don’t conduct a proper comprehensive trademark research, you are at the risk of infringing on someone else’s trademark. Ignoring an existing mark does not constitute a defense against an action for infringement. If the other party can prove that your trademark has caused him a loss of business, you may be required to pay damages. The damages you would be charged with in the event of transgressing the territory of some other persons can be as severe as restitution of profits and payment of fees to the said person.
- It Saves the Cost of Losing your Money, Time and Resources
Whether the mark is registered or not, if another party can prove that you are violating it, you will be asked to stop using the mark. If you sell a product, it can result in a significant financial loss, with inventory that may require repackaging or no longer used at all. Supposing you are offering a service, you stand the risk of losing valuable efforts in branding and marketing. In any case, you will have start from the scratch with your company if you do not search to make sure your name and identification marks are yours.
- It Gives you a Better Chance of Success at the Point of Registration
The above situations may simply apply to the use of a trademark - even before starting the trademark application process. For the registration of a trademark, it is even more crucial to carry out a preliminary search. You invest even more time and money in a decision to protect your business - and a similar trademark or duplicate is one of the fastest ways to reject the request. A comprehensive search carried out by a USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) examining lawyer is one of the main elements of the application process; if they find a duplicate or a similar mark that is confusing, you will have to pay a brand new filing fee and create a new application to start the process all over again.
- It provides you tips and useful details
A brand search must also cover the phonetic and vocal variants of the name you propose to use. This is done to ensure that there is no phonetic similarity with another registered trademark before yours. In this way, you can be sure not to expose yourself to the legal consequences of a company with a similar trademark.
Assessment of protective capacity
Like availability, the term "protective capacity" is a broad term that has a full and dynamic meaning. Depending on the nature and characteristics of the intended brand, the coverage may be narrow or strong, which we can assess with brand removal research.
Potential Conflict Analysis
A trademark search also allows the researcher to stifle potential conflicts that the proposed brand may encounter later and the solutions the licensee should take to remedy such situations.