One thing that I commonly hear from clients is that it is difficult to come up with a good trademark. When going through the trademark search process it can sometimes seem like “all the good ones are taken.” Running into conflicts every time you think of a new name can quickly become frustrating. However, trademark search results that reveal conflicting registrations at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office can actually be a blessing.
Trademark Search Results Are Never a Waste
When I perform a trademark search for a client, I always hope that I do not find a conflict. That’s the best case scenario for everyone. They get to apply to register a name that they really like, and I get to assist them. The process is smooth and faster because no additional brainstorming or research is necessary. But that is not always how it goes. If it were, I wouldn’t offer trademark searches.
The reality is that the trademark search results are what they are. And in many cases, that means that the name chosen is unavailable for registration and potentially infringing upon someone else’s rights. People do not like to hire me for a search only to have me give them bads news. And, hey, I don’t like having to give them trademark search results that contain major conflicts. But it happens, and when it does the money spent on a trademark search is not wasted. To the contrary, that is money well spent.
Paying for unfavorable trademark search results may seem like a waste. However, paying a little bit for bad news actually saves you from spending a lot on a trademark application that has little to no chance of success. That is why having a trademark attorney perform a comprehensive trademark search is a good idea before you put more time and money into an application. Your trademark application will have a higher cost than a search (even if you file yourself there are government filing fees). Also, your application will not be reviewed for about three to four months after filing. So if there is a conflicting registration out there, you will have to wait several months to even find out. Doing the search up front can help you avoid this scenario.
Minimizing the Risk of a Bad Search Report
Performing a trademark search can help you to avoid filing trademark applications that have no chance at registration. But anyone would understandably get frustrated if they pay for five searches only to find out that none of the marks are available for registration. So how can you help your chances of avoiding a dud?
The first thing I encourage you to do is do a little homework yourself before hiring an attorney for a trademark search. You can perform a knockout search yourself. Use the USPTO’s TESS search to look for obvious conflicts. That way, if there is an exact hit for your mark, you won’t need to hire an attorney to search it. You will be able to eliminate some of the possible names that you come up with by yourself.
Another way to avoid undesirable trademark search results is to come up with more unique and distinctive trademark ideas. The more distinctive your mark is, the less likely that someone will have already come up with the same thing. This takes some creativity, but gives you a higher chance of success. Also, more distinctive trademarks are entitled to greater protection.
Ready to Move Forward With Your Search?
If you have a trademark and are ready for a professional report detailing your trademark search results, please call me at (314) 479-3668, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.