Complete Trademark Search-Meaning, Process, and its Significance

What is complete trademark search?

A complete trademark search is an act of excavating various trademark databases to ensure that the intended mark is safe to be taken. This is done to ensure that the intended mark is not going to infringe someone else taken a mark. Without a complete trademark search, you may risk taking someone else’ mark which is liable to infringement. A trademark search can either be conducted by the in-house team or firms that provide complete trademark search services to companies and organizations.

Unlike knock-out trademark search wherein we care only about some specific aspects, here, we consider all the possible aspects that can affect our intended mark in future. In other words, we can say is that a complete trademark search is an act of doing a comprehensive search of all the avenues that can potentially have an impact on an intended mark.

Executing a complete trademark search?

Start with exact match search- Irrespective of whether you do a full trademark search or a knock-out trademark search doing exact match search is of paramount importance. This should be considered as the first and initial step in the overall trademark search process wherein various trademark databases are searched keying in the exact match phrases. Trademark search professionals undertake this to assess the validity of an intended mark.

Doing trademark Search for deceptively similar marks – Apart from doing a knock-out trademark search, it is also important for searchers to search those terms that are not straight but are deceptive in nature. These days’ businesses are likely to choose marks that are deceptive in appearance and sounding. For example, if you are intending to take up the mark “STYLEWORKS” we need to make it sure that marks like STYLEWORKX, STYLEWRKS are not registered.

Doing a phonetic search- Phonetic search is another important search strategy that is being used by professionals these days to search those terms that are phonetic equivalents to each other. Phonetic equivalent words are those words that are similar in sounding and can increase the likelihood of confusion. A good example of such a term is ‘KAT’ and ‘CAT’.

Doing trademark search with vowel replacement- In fact, vowel replacement search is a mechanism of finding deceptively similar marks. This is done by putting vowel replacement operator in the specified place and letting the trademark search database give the desired results.

Doing any character replacement search- “Any character replacement search” is another important search campaign that should be employed while doing a full trademark search. With this search, we can find even those similar terms which are created by altering a character.

Trademark search with operators- Operator search is another important trademark search strategy that should be employed when intending for an effective trademark search. With this, we search two different terms using various operators like AND, OR, NOT, XOR, SAME, WITH, NEAR and ADJ.

Common law search- In the United States apart from statutory laws there are some laws that are originated from the Court’s perception and proceedings and common law is one among them. Common laws give liberty to business owners to claim ownership of a term even if it is not registered with the regulatory authorities.

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