Trademark Clearance Searches
A trademark clearance search is more than a search…it’s the “X-ray before surgery.” The trademark Clearance Search provides you with in-depth information about whether your mark may be infringing other’s trademark rights, determine the “likelihood of confusion” for your mark, assess the protectability of your mark, and analyzing any potential conflicts.
We search your mark on multiple databases to determine if the mark is available for trademark registration with the USPTO and/or available for your use. The following databases are searched and analyzed to ensure the mark is not infringing other’s rights:
- USPTO Trademarks: Search of Live and Dead trademarks registered with the USPTO using the following search strategies: identical, phonetic similarity, orthographic similarity and misspellings, prefix, infix and suffix variations, vowel and consonant similarity, plurals and stemming, abbreviations and acronyms, and other similarities.
- State Records: Search of your mark in 20+ million secretary of state business records.
- Domain Names: Search of your mark in 1,000+ top-level domains (TLDs).
- Web: Search of the web combining your mark with the most important keywords.
- Social Media: Search of your mark on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Social Names: Search of your mark as a username in 100+ social networks.
Assuming your mark is being used by another party does not necessarily mean that it is not available for registration since there are many facets to determine the registrability of the mark.
For example, whether the mark is active or dead, whether the scope of the mark is geographically limited, or whether the mark is active under a different class of goods or services.
Determine “Likelihood of Confusion”
The purpose of a trademark is to identify the source of the goods or services. In other words, there should never be a situation where a consumer is looking at two computers branded with “Microsoft” and “Micro-Soft,” and is unable to determine the source of the products.
Trademark Clearance Searches assess the “likelihood of confusion” of your mark so you have an understanding of this risk before submitting the trademark application to the USPTO, and being encumbered with Office Actions.
Marks can range from “not protectable” to “weak protection” to “most protectable.” Assessing the level of protection for your mark at the outset provides valuable information about the strength of your mark.
One factor which governs the protectability of your mark is whether the mark is generic, descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful.