A critical step toward an efficient trademark registration process is performing a proper comprehensive trademark clearance search. The goal of the search is to identify any potential conflicts to your proposed trademark. The search is a critical resource for preparing the application, facilitates an efficient registration, and helps to avoid legal disputes down the road. In this blog, we discuss the components of a proper comprehensive trademark clearance search.
During the search, it is crucial to analyze the similarity between your proposed trademark and existing trademarks. This involves considering both visual and phonetic similarities and not simply the exact form of your mark. Assessing likelihood of confusion is a key factor in identifying the potential risks associated with your trademark.
The cornerstone of a comprehensive trademark clearance search is examining trademark databases. These databases include registered trademarks and pending applications. The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is a necessary starting point of any search. Other notable trademark databases include the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Global Brand Database and the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) database.
In addition to registered trademarks, it is essential to conduct searches for unregistered or common law trademarks. These searches involve examining a variety a databases, such as business directories, trade publications, and search engines. E-commerce platforms like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy should need to be searched as well. The various mobile phone app stores should also be searched thoroughly.
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is vital for brand success. To ensure your trademark aligns with your online presence, it is important to conduct domain name searches. Verify if any existing domains incorporate your proposed trademark or are similar enough to potentially cause confusion among consumers.
We use the latest trademark search software and include a comprehensive search with every flat fee trademark registration package. Toporek Law also offers a standalone search option to analyze your mark prior to filing. Every comprehensive search includes the complete search report and an attorney drafted opinion letter. Contact Alex to learn more or to get started on preparing your trademark filing strategy.