Checking a trademark for uniqueness

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    Whether you want to expand production or launch new products, a quality trademark checking for uniqueness and absence of analogs is necessary. Nowadays, you can check the brand yourself, spending a lot of time and effort working with online databases, or turn to professionals in this field.  Any trademark that is checked before registration is entered into an electronic database. If you need to check the brand online, you can do it from anywhere in the world just having Internet access.

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    If you are creating a new brand and have already come up with a corporate identity for it, a preliminary trademark check online is required. The objectives of the procedure are simple:

    • Meticulous online trademark checking will help to identify all existing TMs that were previously registered by other owners. Searching for brands will also show marks submitted for registration but not yet fully completed. That is, the initial trademark checking increases the chances of successful registration.
    • If you already have your own trademark, which you had checked earlier, then a later search will show TM competitors creating a potential threat to your mark.

    Thus, searching for information about the trademark in the net helps to timely detect unfair competition, counterfeit and fraud fakes. It’s easier to check the trademark online than to lose customers and bear losses in the future.

    To check whether a trademark is registered, as well as to find existing analogs and similar mars, the following approaches are using:

    • Narrow-profile, but quick and effective trademark checking for a name, using special databases.
    • Checking the trademark for uniqueness within the country (national checking).
    • International online trademark searching which helps identify existing counterparts worldwide.
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    A multilevel checking registered trademarks gives the most complete results, and also allows you to objectively assess the chances of success when applying for new TM registration.

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    Checking a trademark for uniqueness
    If you are creating a new brand and have already come up with a corporate identity for it, a preliminary trademark check online is required.

    In order to minimize the risks of refusal to register a trademark, it is advisable to conduct a search for the identity and similarity of already submitted and registered brands. By the search results you can determine:

    • if you violate the rights of third parties;
    • if there any risks of refusal to register your own trademark.

    So, you searched for identity and found a problem. What to do next? Successful tactics will depend on the nature of the problem detected.

    Problem # 1. You have found an identical TM

    If an identical TM for the same or similar goods and services is found after the process of check registered trademark, then the risk of denial of registration of your mark is high. But there are cases when a company cannot cancel already designed trademark and tries to find any ways to obtain legal protection. They can include:

    • Recognition of the TM as well known. The advantage of recognizing the trademark as well-known is the possibility of such recognition at any date, even in the past.
    • Cancellation of the mark registered earlier. According to the law, if the mark is not used in whole or in part for the goods and services indicated in the certificate within five years from the date of its publication, any person has the right to appeal to the court with an application for early termination validity of the TM, in whole or in part.
    • Invalidation of a trademark. Registration of a trademark may be invalidated in court in whole or in part if:
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    1. inconsistency of the registered mark with the conditions for legal protection;
    2. the presence in the certificate image elements of the mark and the list of goods and services that were not in the filed application;
    3. issuance of a certificate as a result of applying in violation of the rights of third parties.

    Problem #2. You have found a similar TM

    If a similar designation is found after check brand name availability, then you need to determine:

    • whether it is confusingly similar;
    • for which goods and (or) services it is registered, and compare with the list of goods and (or) services you plan to apply for registration.

    One of the tools to overcome the preliminary refusal to register a trademark is to receive letters of consent. So, you can contact the owner of an earlier registered mark for goods and services with a request to give you permission to register a similar mark. In many countries, this practice is sufficiently developed and even regulated by legislative or by-laws.

    Problem #3. You have found an identical or similar TM submitted for registration

    If according to the search results of company name check you find a mark that is identical or confusingly similar, which has only been registered for registration but has not yet been registered, then you can file a protest against such registration. Of course, filing a protest does not guarantee that an expert of the patent office will refuse to register, but if your arguments are well-founded and there really are reasons for the refusal, such a refusal will be made.

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    A successful brand begins with the brand register check with subsequent TM registration. There you fix all the key features by which consumers will recognize your products and services: shape, color, design, emotion embedded in this symbol. Therefore, the registration process must be taken with full responsibility, having studied the most common reasons for refusal and options for solving possible problems. When considering the similarity of brands, three main criteria are taken into account: visual similarity, phonetic similarity, semantic similarity.

    An independent trademark registration check today is the fast and easy-to-do procedure. However, what will be the results? The practice shows that such a search for information about already registered trademarks online is often incomplete. The reason is simple: some important aspects are not taken into account (scope of the rights granted to the owner of a registered TM, limited search for trademarks, etc.). This is why an independent free trademark search is not always accurate and reliable.To save time, efforts and money, as well as get guaranteed results, it’s advisable to ask the experts’ help on how to check business name. Professional search for already registered trademarks by name and other criteria has a number of undeniable advantages. First of all, full coverage (in order to find a trademark and compare it with analogs, the official search in full databases and a versatile approach are used) and affordable pricing (any trademark you search for will fit perfectly even in the modest budget of a novice entrepreneur). Secondly, tight deadlines (to check the trademark and quickly provide results, the knowledge and experience of the best specialists are used) and impeccable quality (trademark verification is complete and reliable). Trust the pros to do their job giving the right start to your business.

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