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Using trademarks for competitive intelligence

Posted by ipelton on: April 19th, 2010

Trademark filings are of course public records at the USPTO.  With some skilled searching of USPTO filings, businesses may be able to find out what type of work their competitors are doing, or what other industry trends are.

For example, does Apple have any new brand names in the works?

  • IBOOKSTORE for a large range of products and services
  • an application seeking protection for the design of their Magic Mouse

How about well known restaurateur Todd English, might he have any new restaurants in the works?  Several applications owned by “Todd English Trademarks, LLC for

What movies or other new things might be coming from Disney? Here are some “intent to use” applications owned by Disney

How about plans for the upcoming “The Oprah Winfrey Network”?  Looks like they have lots of plans, including clothing (skorts?), sunglasses, hockey sticks, and yoga mats:

What is new in the candy business?

As you can see, quite a bit of information about possibly forthcoming brands, products, and services can be unearthed searching uspto.gov trademark records.  The trademark record is a snapshot of the economy.  While a registration or filing is not mandatory, companies recognizing the value and impact of their brands generally file early to protect possible new business opportunities.  This allows the public – or the competition – to get a little peek into what might be coming.



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