Our company has a proposed trademark that we intend to use. Should we have a search performed to see if it is available?

Yes, before you invest any money in advertising the mark. That way, if it turns out that your proposed mark would conflict with an existing mark, you can change your mark now before you have invested a great deal of money in it. This search should be done by a trademark specialist. Many trademark owners also subscribe to services known as "trademark watches" to keep track of other companies' usages of the same or similar marks. In addition, trademark owners may want to see what their competitors are doing by way of new products or services. This can be achieved by customized watch services, which may include:
  • watching for newly filed or published trademark applications;
  • monitoring pending applications for changes in status;
  • monitoring competitors' new marks;
  • watching for conflicting domain names; or
  • monitoring common-law usages of marks that may conflict with their marks.
There are many different types of watches that can be performed, both in the U.S. and worldwide, and the subscriptions usually run for a term of one year. Many watch services offer variations of searches that include translations, synonyms, and/or antonyms at no additional charge. The trademark owner will receive periodic watch notices which will, for example, notify the owner that a similar trademark application has been filed or is being published. By receiving these watch notices in a timely manner, a trademark owner can take prompt action against would-be infringers.

Last update on December 9, 2009 by Administrator.

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