The trademark search report contains the results of a trademark search. In order to register a trademark, individuals or companies need to know everything about availability, similar marks, and other information before filing an application. Usually, these reports are compiled by professionals in the field of legal search and they are ordered by attorneys in the field of intellectual property law.
Begin With a Simple Online Search
Performing your own trademark search can be a good place to start. Review the products and services offered by your chosen industry. Online searches are usually available.
For instance, if you develop mobile apps, search different app stores. The next step is to search for software categories in online retailers. Using this method, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your desired trademark name may be confused with another brand.
It is possible to search for blogs on the Blogger site as well as other blog aggregators. Start by searching for your proposed trademark name plus relevant services or goods on Google if you run an e-commerce business. Housecleaning services and “CleanSweep” are examples.
Can I use a similar mark if someone else has already done so?
When your search shows that the mark you wish to use is already in use or substantially similar to one already in use, you might need to consider another one. Although it’s frustrating to deal with this, it’s important that you choose another mark in this case. You might face expensive legal consequences if you don’t search, or ignore results that show a mark similar to yours exists.
Publish and promote a product with a trademark already in use by a competitor and you may be liable for attorney’s fees and monetary damages. Using the trademark can be prohibited by a court order obtained by the competing entity.
A trademark’s level of protection increases as it is used for a longer period of time. For example, Ford has consistently used its name since 1903, so it wouldn’t make sense for someone to start a company with the same name.
See if your desired mark can be protected by trademarks by reviewing the basics concerning trademarks. The company claiming to own a trademark for “Computers” for desktop computers is probably mistaken. Trademarks cannot be based on merely descriptive words.
The more famous a trademark is, the more likely it is that its holder will care if it is used. The company name of Apple, for instance, will likely be aggressively protected in the computer, digital, cellular, and electronic industries.
Should You Hire a Professional to Conduct a Trademark Search?
You might consider hiring a professional search firm if your initial search does not reveal any potential conflicts (marks that are similar to your own). The following trademarks will be examined in detail by the firm:
- Common law
There is a cost associated with hiring a professional firm, which may run into hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the search. Prior to filing an application with the Trademark Office, it is recommended that you conduct a search.
In many cases, small businesses forgo professional searches unless they intend to sign a distribution or licensing agreement that promises not to infringe on existing trademarks or if they simply need peace of mind.
By conducting a trademark search and clearance properly, a company or client can reduce the following risks:
- There will be a need to stop using the service name or product name.
- Legal fees and damages associated with infringement claims will be payable to them.
- It will be necessary to adopt a trademark that requires substantial investment to protect if it can even be protected.
It is possible for an outside party to produce hundreds of pages of results from a trademark search report.
Search reports are up to you to decide if they are worth your investment. It may be worth it for companies with adequate resources. To avoid legal hassles related to trademark infringement, you should conduct as thorough a search as possible even if you don’t get a comprehensive report.