How Trademark Clearance Searches Help to Prevent Intellectual Property Disputes
It is imperative to seek legal guidance and assistance regarding trademark clearances and disputes, since trademarks are intellectual property and are therefore assets. Indeed, trademarks are source identifiers and if you use a trademark that is already registered or pending registration in your domain name or advertising material without prior permission from the intellectual property owner, you may end up in a trademark dispute.
Many trademark disputes are about advertising materials using logos and slogans already belonging to other companies.
If you plan an advertising campaign for your company, you need to go through the planning and design phases. However, before you put your campaign or several campaigns out there, it is important to conduct searches with the purpose of trademark clearances. Such clearances are obtained by conducting searches at the Trade Mark Register to confirm that the slogans or logos are not already in use, pending registration, or registered.
Keep in mind that even if your logos or slogans are not exactly the same as those belonging to someone else, if they dilute the value of the party’s intellectual property or cause confusion amongst the consumers about the source, you could face a trademark infringement lawsuit. At the very least, a trademark dispute could follow, and you might have to retract your entire advertising campaign.
Considering how much time, effort, and money go into such a campaign or series of campaigns, it is better to approach intellectual property attorneys to handle the trademark clearances on your behalf. Such attorneys do thorough searches and are able to assist you during trademark disputes.
Still on the topic of the advertising campaigns – once the trademark clearances have been done, you need to register the slogans and logos you will use for the campaigns. This must be done before the campaigns are launched. At the very least, you want to have filed the applications to ensure pending status. In this way, you can prevent others from jumping on the bandwagon and using your intellectual property in the same industry or for similar products.
Three types of trademark searches are available. We can do a full search, which covers similar to identical trademarks already on the Trade Mark Register. We highly recommend this type of search for clearances and to prevent disputes. A second type of search is called the cursory search. It is not as comprehensive as the full search, but it is cheaper and does reveal most of the important trademarks. We can also conduct an identical trademark search, which only covers intellectual property that is identical to yours. However, this is not recommended, as many of the confusingly similar trademarks will go unnoticed.
We can also assist in registering the trademarks of choice after having done the clearance searches. The clearance searches cover all the classes of interest to you, in addition to related classes. This is to prevent costly proceedings stemming from trademark disputes about infringement after registration.
Make use of our services related to trademark clearances and disputes, in order to prevent costly proceedings, and to protect your intellectual property against infringement from other parties.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information. Information is relevant to the date of publishing – February 2018.