Should I Do a Trademark Search?
If you already have a trademark that you have been using for an extended period of time and you want to get a state or federal registration for it, then in that case you might be best off forgoing the search and just filing the trademark application.
However, in every other situation it is a very good idea to do a trademark search before finalizing your trademark selection. A trademark search will help determine whether you can get a federal registration for your trademark so you can assert your rights against others.
But just as important, a trademark search of the Trademark Office database and also common law marks will help determine if your new trademark actually might infringe someone else’s trademark. If that situation arises, then you will certainly want to choose a new trademark before you invest any more time and money into a potentially infringing mark.
In addition, you should consult with a trademark attorney (like me) early in the name selection process. A trademark attorney can alert you to potential problems with some of the names you might be considering, and that information should be part of your ultimate decision. If you choose a name that is not protectable as a trademark, then you should be aware of that fact when you make your decision.
How Do I Register My Trademark, and What is the Process?
What Does a “Likelihood of Confusion” Mean?
Can I Use the Same Trademark as Another Company?
What Does it Mean if a Trademark is “Merely Descriptive”?
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