Conducting a full clearance search for conflicts is a critical step in the trademark application process.
Whether it be a for name or a logo, a comprehensive search and analysis by an experienced trademark attorney is advisable to determine whether a new brand name is available before investing in it, using it and protecting it. Only an attorney can assess whether another name or use presents a trademark protection problem.
There are a variety of types of trademark searches. Part of any comprehensive search includes a thorough search of the USPTO records, but also includes domain names, state records, business databases, online search engines, and more. A thorough search must also contemplate alternative spellings, spacings, and other variations of the possible name.
Once all of the data from a comprehensive search is obtained, an analysis of the potential conflicts must be undertaken. Such an analysis is not simple and depends on the strength of the relative terms, the amount of overlap, the potential dilution of the marks at issue variations in goods and services and more.
Six steps to a branded protected name:
- Brainstorm for brand names
- Narrow the list to several possibilities that you like
- Consult with a trademark attorney to see if your preferred names have potential
- Choose one or two favorite names for a thorough trademark search
- Check domain names
- If a favored name is available, acquire that domain name and file trademark application as quickly as possible with the USPTO