Searching a trademark name: Introduction
Protecting your brand has never been more crucial than today. Registering a trademark is a must for every business, and the very first step in the journey of trademark registration is to conduct a thorough trademark name search before settling on a name. But dealing with this process involves various legal considerations. That’s where this blog will help you. From understanding the basics of trademarks to conducting a comprehensive search and analyzing the results, we’ll walk you through each step of the process. By the end, you’ll have the right information to choose a distinctive and legally protected name that sets your business apart from the competition. So let’s start and ensure long-term success.
Why is a Trademark Search Important?
Before we get into how to, search for a trademark name, let us first have a look at why properly searching for a trademark name has so much significance. It helps you determine whether your proposed trademark name is available for registration, reducing the risk of objections and potential legal battles. A comprehensive search can save you time, money, and effort in the long run. This can also help resolve confusion among consumers, dilution of your distinctiveness, and In the worst-case scenario, rebranding entirely.
By investing time upfront to conduct a thorough search, that is more likely to be approved for registration you can reduce the likelihood of facing objections during the registration process, which can be time-consuming and costly to resolve. Furthermore, a trademark search can provide valuable insights into your industry and competitors. By examining existing trademarks, you can gain a better understanding of naming trends, potential gaps in the market, and areas where you can differentiate your brand.
It’s important to note that even if you don’t register your trademark, you may still have some common law rights to it based on your actual use of the mark. However, registering your trademark with the appropriate authority provides additional protection and advantages, such as the ability to use the ® symbol and a legal presumption of ownership.
Searching a Trademark Name: Step-by-Step
- Identify the Appropriate Class: Trademarks are categorized into different classes based on the nature of the goods or services they represent. Determine the class or classes relevant to your business to ensure a comprehensive search. There are 45 different types of classes under which you can register a trademark. here is more information on the classes of trademarks.
- Conduct an Online Search: The Indian Trademark Registry offers an online search tool called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Access the TESS database (https://ipindiaonline.gov.in/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx) to perform a preliminary search for existing trademarks within your chosen class. Use various search parameters, such as the trademark name, class, status, and owner’s details, to refine your search.
- Analyze the Search Results: Review the search results to identify any potential conflicts with existing trademarks. Pay attention to trademarks that closely look like your proposed name or share similar goods or services.
- Seek Professional Help: While the TESS database is a valuable resource, it’s advisable to consult an experienced trademark attorney/lawyer for a comprehensive search. These experts have access to additional databases, including international trademarks, common law trademarks, and unregistered marks, which may not be available in the public search.
- Consider Market Research: Trademark search results may not include unregistered or common law marks, which can still pose a risk to your business.
Please Note: it’s important to note that this search conducted by you is only for a preliminary process, the comprehensive search conducted by a professional trademark personnel is always highly recommended.