We conduct a search of the trade marks Register, often in conjunction with other research tools.Â It is only by conducting such searches that we can determine if a clients chosen trade mark is free from third party encumbrances and capable of registration.
The assessment of whether a prior trade mark or other earlier right constitutes a problem requires the input and expertise of a trade mark attorney.
The purpose of a trade mark search is:
- To determine that a client is free to use the trade mark without infringing third party rights
- To establish if the mark is capable of registration under the existing rules and practice guidelines
For some clients we will also conduct a common law search to ascertain whether a third party has prior use of their chosen trade mark because such use can prevent both the application for registration and the ability to use the mark in question. This type of search is generally conducted in countries which respect and enforce user rights (as distinct from registered rights) against third parties. The UK, USA and Australia are among the countries that, in certain circumstances, do so.
Establishing if a new trade mark is available for both registration and use is an important stage in the evolution of a brand