Trademarks are essential assets for businesses. They help protect your brand identity, reputation, and goodwill in the marketplace. However, owning and using a trademark comes with responsibilities, one of which is performing a comprehensive trademark clearance search. Neglecting this critical step can lead to a cascade of negative consequences for your business. In this blog, we discuss the consequences of not performing a trademark search.
One of the most immediate and severe consequences of not conducting a trademark clearance search is the risk of infringing on someone else’s trademark. If you start using a trademark that is already registered or in use by another business, you may be liable for trademark infringement. This could result in costly legal battles and potential damages. Ignorance of someone else’s trademark does not excuse infringement, so it’s essential to conduct thorough searches before adopting a new mark.
Building a brand involves significant time, effort, and financial investments. If you neglect to perform a trademark clearance search and later discover that your chosen trademark is infringing, you might have to rebrand your entire business. This includes having to change your business name, logo, and marketing materials, which can be expensive and confusing for your customers. You also will have to invest time and resources into updating the infrastructure of your business such as business licenses, other legal documents, and your online presence.
A trademark infringement lawsuit or the need to rebrand can tarnish your business’s reputation. It may give the impression that you were careless or negligent in your business operations. Customers may lose trust in your brand, leading to a loss of loyalty and potentially impacting your sales.
Not conducting a trademark clearance search can also limit your business’s growth potential. If you discover trademark issues in the future, it might be challenging to expand your business into new markets or product lines under the same brand. This limitation can stifle your business’s development and competitiveness.
Trademark protection goes both ways. If you don’t conduct a thorough search and end up using a trademark that infringes on someone else’s rights, you may not be able to protect your own trademark adequately. In trademark disputes, the party with prior rights is often in a stronger legal position.
Performing a trademark clearance search is an essential step for any business looking to establish and protect its brand. Consequences of not performing a trademark search include legal liability exposure, loss of investments, damage to your reputation, and limitations on your business’s growth potential. To avoid these issues, Toporek Law always advises performing a thorough trademark clearance search before adopting a new trademark. A comprehensive clearance search is included with Toporek Law’s Flat Fee Trademark Registration Package. Contact Alex to discuss the post or to get started on your trademark clearance search.