Trademark search is important to a business. This will ensure that no other business is using your business’ trademark or that the trademark you are using is not violating other company’s trademark rights.
The following are some simple steps in conducting a trademark search.
- Know your objective. Typically, you should begin your search by looking for both registered and unregistered trademarks. This step can be a lengthy process. However, this is the most important part of the trademark search. You should also understand that you are searching for trademarks that looks like, sounds like or means like your trademark.
- Visit the free trademark database on PTO’s website. Your search should begin at the United States’ Patent and Trademark Official website. The database of the PTO is composed of all registered trademarks, as well as the trademarks that have a pending status.
- Look for unregistered trademark. Aside from the registered trademarks, you should also search for those that are not registered. You can conduct an online research and use the Thomas Register website. This is also the perfect time to check if the domain names that contains your proposed trademark is available at the Network Solutions Website.
- Go to Patent and Trademark Depository Library. If you can, try visiting the PTDL near your area. Their research materials can be of vital help in searching for trademarks. However, you can also check a list of PTDLS at the PTO’s website.
- Try using a specialized search service. If you can afford it, you might want to purchase a full search of all the registered and unregistered trademarks through CCH Trademark Research Corporation, Thomson and Thomson, Trademark Express or any of the PTDLs that provides electronic search services. The price you will pay will be worth it.
- Think about customer confusion. There are instances where your proposed trademark is still available but can be found confusing to other trademarks. This happens when you are not careful with your proposed trademark. As much as possible, avoid customer confusion. This will happen if your products and services are not similar or do not compete with each other. If you found that there is a possibility of customer confusion, try selecting a new trademark.
- Decide if your selection is similar or the same to popular trademarks. If you think that customer confusion is likely to happen, the next thing you need to consider is to determine whether your selected trademark might be similar to popular trademarks. If this is so, there is a chance that the owner of the popular trademark might prevent the other company to use a trademark that is very much the same. If you think your selected trademark will end up being similar to popular companies, select another.
These are the things that you should think of if you want to conduct trademark search. Trademark search is vital in the promotion of your business. This is why you need to be very careful in searching and analyzing all trademarks that you have found.