The Importance of Trade Mark Clearance Searches: FAQs

Written by Anastasia Troshkova | June 27, 2024

Intellectual Property

Is clearing my trade mark necessary before launching it, and how do I go about it?

Response: While it may not be mandatory in many jurisdictions to conduct a trade mark clearance search before filing a trademark application, doing so is highly advisable. The purpose of this search is to identify any identical or similar marks that cover identical or similar goods or services on the relevant trade mark register. Although a clearance search cannot be exhaustive, it can help assess whether the use and registration of your mark might encounter challenges from conflicting third-party registered trade marks or pending applications.

Can I perform a trade mark clearance search on my own?

You can certainly use online databases to search for trade marks in the countries where you intend to sell your goods or provide services. However, the absence of an identical trade mark does not guarantee that you can use or register your mark. Similarly, finding an identical trade mark does not necessarily mean you cannot use your mark. Involving a lawyer to conduct a clearance search, analyse the results, and provide guidance on a risk assessment about the brand name you are considering can be beneficial.

Why should I clear my trade mark if it’s not obligatory?

The advantages of conducting a trade mark clearance search outweigh the associated costs. It is relatively cost-effective when compared to the potential expenses of rebranding a product that has already been marketed alongside a prior trade mark owned by another party. Additionally, defending your trade mark in an infringement action by the owner of a previously registered trade mark is considerably more expensive than conducting a trade mark clearance search in the first place.

If you have further queries or require assistance with trade mark clearance searches, please drop us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to arrange a free consultation with one of our specialist IP lawyers.

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