Trademark search refers to all the actions taken for determining whether or not a trademark is already being used in commerce. These aresearches that can be narrow in their scope or they might include results from all the channels because trademark protection for each mark is remotely same to the mark that is the subject of a search. The right searching strategy considers the nature of the mark, the services and goods that the mark covers, the timeline for bringing that mark to business, and the allocation of resources by the applicant.
A trademark search is usually classified as either a full search or a knock-out search and both of these searches are explained below in brief.
A full search:
A full search is all about the searches that can cover all the avenues for trademark protection in the trademark system, which is the subject of the search. The software used to run full searches categorizes the results according to how closely related they seem to the subject of the search.
A knock out search:
It refers to the search of the Federal Trademark Register for determining if the trademark in question will fail in case of a trademark registration. This search is about covering all the marks on the Federal Register Trademark Electronic Search System database.
Reasons to opt for a trademark search
Many of the individuals are under the impression that trademark search is nothing more than an unnecessary expense. However, conducting a complete availability search is one of the best and least expensive preventive measure that a business can ensure. The following are the three ways in which conducting a trademark search can save your time during registering your trademark and even afterward.
Ensuring that you are legally protected beforehand
The primary reason for undertaking such clearance searches is for ensuring that the proposed trademark is not an infringement of a prior third-party trademark. Conducting a complete search in advance means that an experienced trademark attorney gets to review the search results, and accordingly, advise the client about all the issues, including whether his mark is unique or not, and whether the mark gets to have a narrower scope of protection.
Getting insights about the competitive landscape
Having said that, there is also a lot to learn from trademark searching. It provides you with crucial insights about the competitive landscape in case there is any refusal to your registration. It can be a good asset and a source of defense in case the trademark owner gets a cease and desist letter.
Avoiding the hassle of changing the brand name
At the end of the day, the choice of carrying out the trademark search rests with you. Any competent trademark lawyer will recommend a full search as the foremost for ensuring your legal safety and saving your time. If the trademark that you have set your heart on gets confused with a prior trademark, then you might be liable for paying damages considering your mark is taken as an infringement. In the worst case scenario, you will have to change your brand name after getting launched in the market.
Not conducting a thorough search while registering your trademark can mean that you will end up spending a lot more time in the hassles of legal issues, changing brand names, and more. Spending your time and resources in such disruptions and confusions are best avoided by conducting the search at the outset. So, make sure that you contact your trademark attorney today and perform a full or knockout search before the registration.