Why You Need to Conduct a Trademark Search Before You File Your Application
Are you preparing to file a trademark application? There are certain key steps that you need to take before doing so. It is imperative that you conduct a comprehensive trademark search before you file your application. In this article, our Florida trademark lawyer explains why it is so important to conduct a comprehensive trademark search before you file your trademark registration application.
What is a Trademark Search?
Broadly defined, a trademark search is the process of conducting a thorough investigation to check whether your desired trademark is available for use or already owned or being used by someone else. It is a critically important step when developing a brand—whether for a new product or a service or for a company as a whole. A trademark search should be completed using various databases, including federal, state, and common law sources.
Three Risks if You Fail to Conduct a Trademark Search
What happens if you fail to conduct a proper trademark search? There are a number of different potential adverse consequences for businesses in Florida that do not take a proactive approach to trademark protection. Some of the most notable risks include:
- Liability Risk: Failing to conduct a trademark search can lead to potential legal troubles. If your trademark infringes upon an existing one, you could face a lawsuit from the original trademark owner. Legal battles can be costly, frustrating, and time-consuming.
- Waste of Resources: Without a trademark search, you risk investing time and resources into a brand that might already be owned. This could mean rebranding, redesigning logos, and revising marketing strategies. Branding is a big investment that you want to get right.
- Limited Brand Growth: Using a trademark similar to another brand limits your business’s ability to stand out and establish a unique market presence. It could lead to confusion among consumers and hinder the growth of your business.
How to Conduct a Comprehensive Trademark Search
How do you conduct a comprehensive trademark search? The best step that you can take is to work through an experienced intellectual property attorney. Remember, you should refer to federal, state, and common law sources. Your attorney will reference:
- Federal Databases: A trademark search starts by checking the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database (Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)).
- State Databases: After the federal databases, ensure you check state trademark databases. Some trademarks might be registered at the Florida level and not appear in federal searches.
- Business Directories and Domain Names: Common law sources can be useful as well. You can reference things like business directors, domain registrations, and web searches.
Get Help from Our South Florida Trademark Law Attorney Today
At Perkins Law, our Florida trademark registration lawyer has extensive experience handling trademark searches. If you have any questions or concerns about trademark searches, we are here as a resource. Call us now or connect with us online to Get Your Brand Armor On!™ From our Boca Raton office, we help clients with trademark searches throughout Florida and the United States.