Overview of Trademark Searches
Before you spend too much time, money, and energy developing and trying to protect your small business brand, you should have a thorough trademark search conducted. A trademark search is an involved process, usually conducted by a professional searcher, that scours trademark registries and identifies any marks that might cause issues with your brand. A search can involve current registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as well as pending registration applications.
While there is no official requirement by the USPTO to have a trademark search conducted before you apply for trademark registration, it is highly advisable to do so. Failing to perform a proper search can leave you open to legal challenges of your mark, as well as accusations of infringement by other parties with registered trademarks.
Conducting a trademark search can determine whether your trademark is eligible for registration by identifying any possible infringement issues. You cannot know about all other trademarks out there, and there is always the possibility that the symbol, name, or other brand identifiers that you believe you created are too similar to another company’s. Having a confusingly similar mark to another business can lead to costly legal issues, but this can be avoided by the right search.
Some benefits include:
- Making sure there are no potential issues with infringement
- Identifying possible problems with registration that you need to address prior to your application
- Allowing your attorney to draft your application in light of existing trademarks
Taking the time and making the small monetary investment to have a professional trademark search conducted can save you substantial resources in the future.
If you have questions or concerns about trademarks for your startup, you want a trademark lawyer from Collaborative IP on your team. Contact our office to discuss your situation today.