Trademark search is one of the most important parts of the brand-building process, although sometimes it is underestimated.
Most people think about brand building only as a marketing process where different marketing specialists develop a new brand name based on a variety of marketing requirements.
That’s true up to a point but it’s not the whole picture. Why?
Well, the brief answer is that a good brand name doesn’t mean automatically that you can use it without legal obstacles.
What do I mean?
Let’s say, for example, that we have a company that hires a brand-building agency to create a new brand name for its business. The agency does the job and delivers the required brand. From that point we have two possible scenarios:
- The company applies for a trademark before the local Patent Office and the brand is registered as a trademark without problems. However, another option here is the brand to fail registration because there are identical and similar trademarks for the same name that are already registered by other companies.
- The second scenario is if the company doesn’t care about the registration of a trademark in which case the company uses its brand seamlessly, relying on pure luck. In this case, however, it is possible for the company to be accused of a trademark infringement by an owner of a registered identical or similar trademark if such exist.
All of that can happen because there is no preliminary trademark search in the brand building stage which to show whether or not earlier registered trademark rights exist.
Although you can use your brand without registration as a trademark, sometimes this could be a risk because it can evoke potential legal conflicts. Even without such problems, the brand owner will be in a more difficult position to defend its brand against infringers in the future because of a lack of registration.
So taking into account these options, trademark search is a vital part of the brand-building process. If you implement such a search in every stage of the process, you will be able to avoid conflicts and reduce risk to your business. Such searches will “red flag” possible issues in the early stages of your business development, which will give you more time to react properly.
In case you are interested in learning how to do trademark searches on your own, check this new Udemy Complete course on trademark search, where you will learn how to implement it for the territories of the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.