Written by: Cara O’Hanlon
Edited: Zara Watson, Esq.
Trademark searching is a critical first step in the trademark registration process, as it allows companies to avoid using marks that infringe on third-party trademark rights. A trademark clearance search assesses whether the name or logo you wish to use is already in use or is confusingly similar to an earlier existing mark. This serves as protection against the expense of a name change and possible legal costs if someone asserts that the use of your mark infringes their prior rights.
A trademark search will inform you as to whether someone else has secured the rights to your proposed mark or a similar one. When you design a logo for your company or create a name for your company’s products or services, you want to make sure that no one else uses the same name or design. If anyone uses a similar mark, this can hinder your ability to properly protect yours. In addition, you need to make sure that the name or logo you are using doesn’t infringe upon any previously registered trademarks. If another company has obtained a trademark registration for the same mark, your company will be at risk of that company sending a cease and desist letter or possibly filing a trademark infringement lawsuit. Also, if you attempt to register your trademark with the USPTO without first conducting a trademark clearance search, the USPTO may refuse to register your trademark due to a prior registration or application for the same or a confusingly similar mark. The attempted registration of a similar name can be expensive and time-consuming, as the other party is likely to oppose your proposed trademark.
Performing a trademark search also provides you with peace of mind so you can continue to cultivate your brand under your mark. A trademark search is essential before your company expends funds to develop and promote your products or services. If you are held liable for infringing on third-party trademark rights, you may be obligated to stop using the mark, which could be expensive. This includes the costs of changing items encompassing the mark, such as advertisements, business cards, packaging, marked products, or your website.
With our help, you can reduce potential costs and legal risks through our assistance with your trademark search and registration process. We will conduct a full federal, state, and common law trademark search and provide expert analysis as to the registration of your proposed trademark.
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*** This is for informational purposes only, no attorney-client privilege has been formed.