An important aspect of securing ownership of a brand identity is the trademark search.
Trademark searching is a complex and skilled art.
There are many different types of trademark search. The more extensive the searching, the more time consuming, but the more you reduce the risk of a failed trademark application.
Unlike company or domain names where a slight adjustment of spelling enables a desired name to be registered, a name you use or trademark application you file must not be similar to someone else's mark.
Why search before using a business name?
A search helps you check you may own the name before you launch your product or service. Clearing a name for use, is important because if you use someone else’s brand you risk having to rebrand. This may entail recalling the product and changing all your marketing materials.
Product recalls and rebranding might be forced on you years after you have already built up your business. It invariably involves considerable expense and exposes you to a claim in damages or to account for your profits. So, a trademark search is a small outlay for the considerable risk management it delivers.
An identical search is a search we recommend before adopting a mark. Depending on your attitude to risk, your chosen name, the initial search results, the nature of your products and services, and your plans for growing the business (for example, will you sell online into all countries?) it will be possible to assess which other searches you might want to commission.
For example, as there are 27 countries within the EU, and each country has its own trademark registration system, the Community Trademark (CTM) search does not include a search of each of the individual country registers. We offer searches of individual country registers at very competitive rates.
Common law searches
A common law search is advisable if the scale of your operations is such that the consequences of a failed trademark application would be severe. For example, the costs and inconvenience of withdrawing a product from the market could be so steep for your business, that it makes sense to reduce the risks of a failed application as much as possible.
A common law search reduces the possibility of a surprise third party with unregistered trademark rights objecting to your application during the advertisement stage.
If you need legal work please call us on +44 (0)20 7700 1414 or if you prefer send us an enquiry using the form below. Depending on your requirements we may suggest a free meeting. This is often the best way to assess whether we would be the right firm for you, and to understand the work involved, your priorities, attitude to risk, and desired timescales.