With the exponential growth of globalization, companies are looking to operate their business in multiple jurisdictions. Moreover, for enterprises that plan to export their brand/service overseas, it is necessary to obtain global protection for their brand identity. So, worldwide trademark search followed by registration is an essential asset in securing the brand from infringement and liabilities. It enables the customers to identify your business and helps you to establish a recognizable brand.
However, when you proceed with the registration of your mark, it is imperative to conduct an extensive search to determine the availability of the mark in the jurisdictions in which you wish to run your business. Different aspects of worldwide trademark search help you to keep an eye on potential infringements and conduct searches in business names registered and trademark databases of multiple jurisdictions individually. Here are some of the essential pointers you should know about worldwide trademark searches.
Also Read: Trademark Infringement: How to Avoid it?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of Geneva is the regulatory authority that takes care of the registration and protection of intellectual property worldwide. WIPO trademark search database is used for conducting an international trademark search. It helps businesses access the global database to obtain information about existing trademark applications, statuses, and decisions.
Also Read: A Guide to Trademark Registration in India
Different Worldwide Trademark Search Techniques
The three search type options available include a word search, image search, and device mark search.
- Word Search: You need to provide the word mark and the class under which the investigation is conducted. Once you give the wordmark in the search database, compare the search query with three conditions- ‘start with,’ ‘contains,’ and ‘match with.’ Next, enter the applicable class of the Trademark. Trademarks are divided into 45 classes, and each type represents a distinct group of goods and services. After this, hit the search button.
- Image Search: You can perform an image search in the international trademark database to search for visually similar Trademarks and other brand-information records. It helps to find prior art in logos that can interfere with your intended design. Logo search makes use of the Nice Classification database based on the Nice Agreement.
- Device Mark Search: A device mark or a figurative Trademark includes marks like a stylized letter, numerals, shapes, celestial bodies, plants, and more. Device mark search helps to protect the design or appearance of your intended mark. It uses the International Classification of Figurative Elements of Mark Database.
Common Errors in Worldwide Trademark Search
Often businesses proceed with registering trademarks globally without applying for registration of the mark in native countries. To move to the global economy, you need to begin with trademark search and registration in your local jurisdiction. While performing a global trademark search, you should not limit yourself to free search databases.
These databases are often disorganized, lack annotation features, reporting functions, and search history. You also need to conduct a federal trademark application search and plan your search effectively to cover comprehensive databases and overlook important details.
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These are some of the critical fundamentals that govern the various aspects of the worldwide trademark search operation. Hence, if you plan to expand your offerings outside of your local jurisdiction, you need to perform a trademark search for target jurisdictions to eliminate the risk of trademark infringement.
Brands may use TMReady’s International Trademark Search service to keep a watch on mark infringement both worldwide and within their own regions. Our staff uses both traditional and non-traditional means to keep track of any infringement and to help customers safeguard their valuable brand names. To learn more about this service, click here.