Searches of registered trademarks are useful at all stages during the term of your trademark and it is no wonder, therefore, that numerous online databases of registered trademarks have cropped up. With businesses inundated with online resources for searching trademarks, it can be difficult to determine where best to conduct your search, or even whether this should be done online at all.
Amongst the smorgasbord of online databases businesses can often feel lost. For ease, these databases can be split into two distinct groups – national IP databases and commercial databases.
The majority of territories have their own national IP database run by the relevant IP office containing information on all of the trademarks registered within that territory. These databases are free to use and are often the first port of call for businesses looking to conduct a trademark search.
Alternatively, some commercial services offer online databases on which you can search for trademarks. These databases may not be free to use, but they are able to offer a wider range of services than national databases. Indeed, as well as offering searches of registered trademarks by name/keyword, trademark number, image or owner (as national databases do), these databases can offer additional searches, such as availability reports on your mark.
However, businesses often encounter issues with using these tools to their full potential and end up making mistakes. Whether in the search terms used, the database chosen or in reading the results correctly, it is common for businesses to slip up when conducting trademark searches.
It is for this reason that external trademark searching services have become increasingly popular. Outsourcing your trademark searches to external service providers creates an optimal alternative to conducting these searches yourself, saving you both time and money (and responsibility).
Hiring external agents to conduct your necessary searches can save you a significant amount of time, as conducting these searches yourself may detract your attention from other important ongoing tasks. Whereas expediting your trademark searches to external providers will ensure that you are able to use your time to focus on more pressing matters to the best of your ability.
Moreover, trademark searches can be particularly challenging to non-professionals in their completion. Undertaking to complete these yourself could mean that a large proportion of your time is spent conducting these searches.
To combat wasting time on trademark searches many businesses now choose to outsource their searches to external service providers - not only is this likely to mean that the search itself will be completed quicker (as it is being conducted by professionals) but also means that you have time to focus on other matters.
In similar vein, outsourcing your trademark searches to external providers can also save you money. Conducting these searches yourself, although ostensibly cheaper, could end up costing you in a far greater way.
As previously mentioned, it can be difficult to complete a trademark search comprehensively unless you have particular expertise in conducting them. An improperly conducted search could mean that your trademark is refused for registration, is latterly revoked or may have its exclusivity impugned. All of these consequences are obviously accompanied by significant financial losses.
Hiring external providers to conduct these searches, however, will mean that you can rest safe in the knowledge that your search is being conducted by professionals with years of experience and expertise. This assurance that your trademark searches will be conducted thoroughly will mean that you can happily push onwards with your trademark with the peace of mind that no issues will have slipped through the net during searching.
Obviously, external service providers do not conduct these searches free of charge, however outsourcing to these professionals represents a potentially significant financial saving when compared with conducting searches yourself. Not only do these external providers do more than mere national databases can provide, but they also ensure that you have full knowledge of any and all registered trademarks of interest - knowledge which is invaluable in the IP market.