When you start a business, your company's brand is its most valuable asset. Your name, slogan, label, logo, and designs are how consumers will recognize you and know they can trust the quality of your products or services. This is why it's critical that you take every step to protect your intellectual property from unknowing or intentional infringement by applying to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Before you begin using your mark in commerce, it's crucial to ensure that a similar one isn't already registered. Conducting a trademark clearance search, also known as a TESS search, can help you avoid potential litigation or any obstacles you might face during the trademark registration process. The attorneys at the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC perform comprehensive trademark searches and meticulously assess your chances of successful registration so you can get it right — the first time you file.
The number of USPTO trademark registrations has been rising steadily every year. Consequently, it's becoming more challenging in some industries to register a mark that isn't already registered or resembles one that has already been registered by a competitor. Clearing use of a trademark with a thorough search in the initial stages of business planning can save you the time and money you would have spent building your brand — only to discover that you are unable to use the mark that defines it.
Knowing whether your trademark is registered before you begin using it in commerce is essential to avoiding a cease and desist letter or having to defend an infringement lawsuit. While many trademark law firms hire search companies to determine the availability of a trademark, the search results they provide are almost useless because they provide no context or analysis. By depending on what could potentially be a meaningless search, your legal protections and rights to your mark could be affected. Our attorneys have the expertise to conduct thorough trademark searches in-house for the best possible results.
When conducting a trademark clearance search, it's important to be aware that the standard for an infringement claim is not only whether two marks are identical, but you could also face litigation if they are confusingly similar. To determine the likelihood of confusion between two brands, the following factors should be considered:
An initial knockout search can be effective in uncovering any obvious obstacles concerning the use or registration of your mark. However, it's often necessary to conduct a full TESS search to conclude that the mark is clear for use and avoid exposing your business to potential liability. A comprehensive trademark search conducted by skilled counsel can help identify variations in punctuation, phonetics, spelling, and word arrangements — all of which can come into play in an infringement claim, or lead to the USPTO's refusal of your mark.
Conducting a trademark search is vital before you devote the time and energy necessary to complete your USPTO application for trademark registration. But, it can also be advantageous for business owners to make sure their mark is clear for use long before applying to register the trademark. Since the USPTO requires that your mark be used in commerce prior to registration, making sure there are no conflicting names or designs before you invest a significant amount of resources in marketing and development is essential.
Our attorneys possess proficiency in conducting the highly nuanced trademark searches necessary to help ensure your brand is protected. We carefully analyze the TESS trademark search results. Our in-depth search knowledge and infringement litigation experience allow us to readily recognize and avoid any risks associated with the use of your mark. If we uncover any issues concerning your proposed trademark during our search, we will work with you to create a customized solution to increase your odds of successful registration.
Conducting a thorough trademark search is complex, time-consuming, and requires experience. Working with a diligent trademark attorney can help ensure you avert any potential legal risks. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC provides methodical and comprehensive trademark search services for business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide. With more than 6,500 successful USPTO trademark registrations under our belt, we offer personalized attention and high-quality legal services at cost-effective rates. Contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a trademark search attorney.