Nowadays as market competition is rising, the trademark has become the most important marketing tool for brands to position their company strategically in the market. As the trademark acts as an identity marker, it helps the customers to distinguish between various brands and choose the right fit. Due to its immense importance, most companies are ready to invest a considerable amount of money, time, as well as other resources to get their trademark registered. But what is the trademark that you want to register is not even available? What if someone else is using that mark? If so, you will end up getting in legal proceedings due to trademark infringement. So, How do I check if a brand name is taken? Or how to Know If a Business Name is Trademarked?
How to Know If a Business Name is Trademarked?
The one-and-done solution to know if a business name is trademarked or not is Trademark Search
A trademark search helps to ensure whether or not a business name is trademarked. The article covers the objectives behind the trademark search and the benefits of a trademark search. If you want step by step procedure of how to conduct a trademark search for absolutely free, click here. You can also check out the top 8 free tools to conduct a trademark availability search.
Did You Know? Having a similar or identical trademark or business name is troublesome only if it resembles a mark operating in the same business domain. E.g. If you want to start a coffee shop with the name Starbucks, you won’t be able to do so as some brand already has this name and operate in the same business domain. But if your trademark or business name is the same but the business domain is different, similarity in marks won’t be an issue.
Why Should I Conduct a Trademark Search?
A trademark availability search is a cost-effective (mostly free) and efficient way to find the global availability of your brand’s proposed brand name. The professionals and industry experts consider trademark search to be the first step in the process of the trademark search.
The 2 crucial objectives of conducting a trademark availability search are:
- To see whether or not using the proposed mark will be infringing upon someone else’s trademark rights
- To see whether or not you can register the intended once you start with trademark filing
While searching for similar marks, you should search through official trademark registers of state trademark offices. Make sure you search through registered as well as pending trademarks to be extra sure. Also, you must conduct searches using free tools to find out similar but unregistered trademarks.
By conducting an efficient trademark search, you will have infringement search results that will confirm whether or not someone else is using a similar mark in the same domain.
Apart from finding if there are any similar marks available in the market or not, a trademark search will also help you confirm whether your trademark is registrable or not. For checking the registrability of the mark, make sure you also search the database for deceptively similar or substantially identical trademarks in the market.
Moreover, you will also need to make sure that your trademark does not contain any of the following:
- Geographical name
- Illegal meaning or connotations
- Deceptive elements
- Known meaning related to quality, kind, quantity, value, or intended purpose of the goods or services
Also, USPTO does not allow to trademark a generic name. A generic term means a term describing the type of goods or services being provided by your company can not be trademarked. For example, a generic term for an eyeglass frame is not trademarkable, despite how the color of the frame is a key feature. A trademark cannot be registered that describes an eyeglass lens color or tint, i.e., red eyeglass cannot be registered as a trademark.
How to Search for Free Trademark Name
By using various search engine tools comprehensively, you can find out if there are any same or similar trademarks that are already in use by a third party. Also, it will help you know the business domain of the third party, i.e., which type of goods and services do they sell. But search engine tools have certain limitations making it imperative to hire professionals for trademark search. One such limitation of search engine tools is that they can’t identify the trademarks registered by USPTO or state trademark offices but not yet launched. This is why detailed trademark availability search through various tools and databases are significant to be 100% sure.
- Identical trademark search to find phonetically same trademarks or the ones that are visually an exact match.
- Similar trademark search to find identical or confusingly similar marks.
- Trademark search with an opinion (aka search with advice) that involves a trademark attorney’s advice concerning the results of the identical or similar trademark.
- Index search to find out companies having similar or identical names to the search term.
- In-use verification search to find whether or not the third party having prior trademark rights is using its trademark rights in the right manner or not. If not, you can challenge the trademark registration.
- Trade name search to find out trade name or business name rights potential of creating a conflict with the proposed trademark.
Why does USPTO reject trademark registration?
These are some possible grounds on which USPTO refuses the registration of a mark:
- The trademark is merely descriptive
- Likelihood of Confusion with an existing registered trademark
- The mark is deceptively misdescriptive
- The trademark is primarily merely a surname
Do you know the possible grounds on which USPTO rejects trademark registration? Read this blog to know
What if I skip the trademark search?
If you do not conduct a trademark search, the following are the possible consequences that you will have to face sooner or later
- During the trademark registration process, the USPTO will reject your application based on the likelihood of confusion. All your time and money invested in trademark filing will go in vain.
- During the trademark registration process, if someone else has a similar or identical mark, he/she may raise opposition. Then you will have to go through hearings to prove that the claims are false or have no ground. Thus, the original mark can force the discontinuance of the mark.
- Even if you make it through the trademark registration process somehow, the original trademark owner can still enforce his trademark rights. This is the most deadly consequence of not conducting a trademark search.
Why Choose TMReady for Trademark Search?
TMReady is your one-stop solution for all the services related to trademark search activities. Our years of expertise in the field coupled with advanced software tools ensure that you get comprehensive trademark search reports. We provide various packages to suit your budget and needs. Along with ready-made packages for trademark search, we also offer customized trademark search services. Our trademark search covers every possible similar trademark existing or in making. We provide trademark search reports that provide valuable insights to the client before they begin with the trademark filing process. To know more about our services, check us here