What is a Trademark Search?

Create Time 2019-06-27 03:06    Views:15000

If you are a brand owner, you've probably heard of or may already have trademarks. If you do not yet have a trademark, there are a few important things you need to know about, one of which is a trademark search.

The trademark registration process isn’t as easy as choosing your name, filling out a few forms, and receiving a certificate. Because a trademark is a word, phrase, or design that distinguishes your product from those of other companies, you need to ensure that your trademark is unique to your company. Therefore, you will need to conduct a trademark search.

A trademark search is a process by which you determine if there are any existing trademarks or pending trademarks that are similar or identical to your own.

How to Do a Trademark Search 

In your search, you will of course be looking for brand names that are similar or identical to your own. This will be most relevant if there is any similarity between your products and services and the products and services of the other company. While a blatant duplication of name and branding won’t fly, small similarities will be less of an issue if you run a tech company and the similar trademark is for shoes.

You will also need to think about all the possible ways your trademark could be spelled and pronounced. If you want to open a shoe store called Niquey (pronounced Nee-kwe), it may still infringe on Nike’s trademark.

Where Should I Do My Trademark Search

Where Should I Do my Trademark Search?

Basic trademark searches are free and entirely online. One way to stick your toe in the water is to start with a simple Google search. You can bet that if you see your desired trademark in the results, that name is a no-go for you.

A quick Google scan will not be enough to determine if you have a safe trademark, however. To take your search to the next level, you can visit the websites of your national intellectual property offices. The
USPTO for the United States and the CIPO for Canada both have trademark databases through which you can sift for similar or identical trademarks that have either been registered or have had applications submitted before your own.

There are even more useful tools for trademark searches that you can use.
Corsearch is an online search tool designed for finding problematic trademarks. However, to use Corsearch you will need an account. Our own search tool, Supersearch is both free and comprehensive and requires no commitment on the part of the customer.

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Canadian Trademark Searches 

Recent changes to Canadian trademark law have made conducting a Canadian trademark search more necessary than ever. Previously, under the first-to-use rights principle, if you filed a trademark application and it clashed with a pending trademark, or if another company tried to file a similar or identical trademark in your province and your trademark had already been in use for several years, you could potentially stop those trademarks from being used. Now that Canada has adopted the first-to-file principle, as in first to the finish line wins, extra care is needed.

If you would like to learn more about trademark searches or would like to engage our Witmart services,
visit our website to learn more and book a consultation with one of our expert trademark consultants—it’s free!

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to offer legal advice or to be a substitute for a consultation on a case-by-case basis with an attorney. The information provided above is meant for informational purposes only and may be subject to change. 

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