Prior to filing an application to register your trademark, you may want to conduct a trademark clearance search. Trademark clearance searches are recommended as a best practice by trademark attorneys because you want to know in advance if there are obstacles to your use or registration of your mark. A clearance search locates current applications, registrations and uses of the logo, slogan, or name you are wanting to trademark and if any of the applications could be deemed confusingly similar and keep you from registering your mark.
Searches supply you and your attorney with information needed to ensure your mark does not infringe on another mark and helps your attorney better assess the potential risks associated with your use of the mark. Searches also help you and your attorney determine the changes of successful registration and provides helpful information that is used to draft your application. It is important to look into this in advance to prevent having to change marks down the road which could hurt you financially and hurt the goodwill of your business. Doing your due diligence in the beginning, even though it costs a bit more, can save huge amounts of money in the long run.
Should you do a search? Each case is different and must be assessed on its individual facts. This is one of the reasons why using an actual attorney for your trademark as opposed to a form company is so important. A clearance search may not be appropriate for your case. If you have been using and promoting your mark for the last thirty years, searching before applying might not be worth doing since no matter the results you are not going to change your name.
Please contact us to discuss what type of trademark clearance search may be right for your case. You can call us at 615-620-5838 to reach Nashville patent and trademark attorney Randall Burton or email use the contact form below: