How to Check if a Trademark is Registered to Avoid an Infringement Claim?
Every business needs its own trademark. A trademark is a recognizable word, phrase, and/or symbol that a company uses to identify itself, its products and services, to set itself apart from the competition.
Creating a trademark can be a tedious process, but even more exhausting is making sure that the mark is not already registered to someone else. You need to check if a similar trademark is already in use to avoid a potential infringement claim.
Why You Must Ensure That the Trademark is Not Already Registered
By choosing a trademark that another company has already registered, you will not be able to register it for your business. Moreover, there is a risk of facing trademark litigation for “stealing” someone else’s trademark.
A trademark infringement lawsuit may cost tens of thousands of dollars and harm your reputation. Also, if you had used the trademark for a while before the infringement claim was brought against your business, you may have to spend additional money to change your packaging, labels, website, and others.
These are the reasons why you must conduct a trademark lookup before registering a trademark to avoid (a) wasting money and (b) legal trouble. Doing a registered trademark search can also increase the likelihood that your application will be granted.
Many applications are denied because there is a “likelihood of confusion” with an existing trademark belonging to someone else. Your application will likely be denied if two trademarks are similar and are used for related products or services.
How to Conduct a Registered Trademark Search?
Anyone can do a registered trademark search for free and from the comfort of their home to identify similar and confusing marks. The trademark lookup tool by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can detect direct name matches, any similarities between marks, and possible confusions.
By doing a trademark search before starting your business in Florida, you get a chance to choose a different mark before you spend hundreds of dollars on trademark application fees.
When searching trademarks through the USPTO’s lookup tool, review the results, and look for marks that are the same or similar to yours. Make a list of similar and identical marks and write down the information about the types of products and services they are registered for.
Take note of any similarities between marks that are registered for products or services that your business offers.
While it is not that difficult to search for exact trademark matches, looking for related variations and similarities can be quite challenging. You can save tons of time and get complete results by doing a professionally conducted search.
If uncertain whether a similar registered trademark would get your trademark application denied, or worse, could potentially lead to an infringement claim, consult with a West Palm Beach trademark litigation attorney at Pike & Lustig, LLP. Call at 561-291-8298 for legal advice.