Trade Mark Clearance
Why is trade mark clearance so important?
Well, it’s the first step to making sure your trade mark application is successful.
If your chosen mark already exists (or there is one very similar to it), your application will be rejected. That means the initial fees are lost and you’ll have to pay them again when you resubmit a new application.
However, working with our team during this vital stage of the process means we’ll make sure your chosen trade mark is unique. And no, a quick Google search is not sufficient.
Trade mark search
An inadequate search, a search for just the ‘identical’ mark, or no search at all, could lead to action being taken against you by a third party. For example, if you attempt to register a trade mark that is the same or similar to an existing mark, for the same or similar goods or services, you could end up facing a trade mark opposition. Worse still you could end up facing an action against you for trade mark infringement which means that you might have to rebrand.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure thorough searches are done before submitting your application.
Our team leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the validity of your trade mark. On top of the usual comprehensive searches of the UK and EU Trade Mark Registers, we can also search company names or domain names. We can look at other sources for unregistered trade marks, and conduct enquiries as to whether a particular mark is in use by its registered owner, or when it was last used.
Instructing us to do a UK clearance search is straightforward. Just tell us:
• The trade mark you want to use
• The products or services it is to cover
After doing the necessary searches, we’ll give you a report telling you if you can use (and register) the new trade mark, identifying any potential issues and advising on the level of risk involved. Then, it’s over to you to make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead with the registration process.
Free Guide: Everything A Business Owner Needs To Know About Trade Marks
The guide will explain to you in detail the essentials of trade mark protection including:-
- Choosing a distinctive brand name – why a good choice will resonate with your customers and reduce your advertising and marketing spend.
- The importance of avoiding the descriptive/ generic trade mark trap.
- The importance of pre-filing searches – done the correct way – to avoid future legal action against you and the risk of having to rebrand.
- Strategy on when to time your application.
- Realising the value of your trade mark – why your trade mark is considered an asset on your balance sheet.
- The importance of maintaining and enforcing your registered trade mark rights once your mark is registered.
Simply enter your details below to receive this guide instantly:
It is possible to undertake an ‘identical search’. As its name suggests, these look for the identical trade mark only, and nothing further. This sort of search can be useful if you have several potential trade marks that you are considering. The results will flag up whether the identical trade mark exists and you can then choose to discount that particular trade mark as an option and move on to further investigations.
But it’s worth remembering this is not as comprehensive as a clearance search because it doesn’t check for similar marks, or even closely similar ones. For example, an identical search for ORIGINAL would not find ORIGINALITY, THE ORIGINAL or even ORIGINALS. So, if you do want to conduct an identical search, we want to stress that it won’t give you an indication of whether it’s safe to use and register your trade mark; it’s crucial that you’re aware of the risk involved.
Trade mark search timescales
When it comes to timescales, identical searches take a day or so, depending on the number of marks involved. The results of a UK full clearance search generally take between three to four working days.
Although it will delay the registration process, conducting trade mark searches are of great assistance in making sure your application proceeds smoothly.
Trade mark territories
Trade marks are territorial so undertaking a clearance search in the UK only identifies potential issues with other earlier trade marks having effect in the UK.
Unfortunately, there is no way a comprehensive global clearance search can be conducted.
If you do business in, for example, the US, China, or Canada, separate searches must be undertaken in each of those countries to make sure there are no potential conflicts for your brand.
Even if you currently don’t trade outside the UK or the EU, we must discuss your future business strategy, so any plans for expansion are covered during this clearance phase.
Comprehensive trade mark clearance searches are a vital element of the registration process. It is the only way you can be sure your chosen mark can be used, without infringement, in the countries in which you trade.
Don’t leave your brand vulnerable.
Make an Enquiry
To make a no obligation enquiry, please either call us on 01284 619000 or make an online enquiry and we will be delighted to help you.