Before filing a trademark application for their client, most intellectual property lawyers will recommend their client hire a specialist to perform a detailed clearance search. These reports are a specialty of Web Defense Systems, as our reports are quite unique (see our Trademark Protection page for details). Clearance searches are reports that determine what marks already exist that could compete with the applicant’s mark. Further, there are other reasons to perform such one-time searches other than filing for a trademark application. It’s highly recommended companies perform a trademark infringement search before naming a business or naming a product, before using a new phrase in marketing, before releasing a design for a logo or packaging, before buying another company, and of course before filing for a trademark with the USPTO. Extensive searching should be done to determine the extent to which the words or image your company is considering are already being used by someone else, perhaps even someone else who has successfully filed a trademark of the words or image. This type of trademark searching, also known as “Clearance Searching,”can be done for as little as a few hundred dollars by Web Defense Systems. This is money well spent, as it can produce results that are worth tens of thousands of dollars: either in the cost of defending your company in a trademark infringement lawsuit, in the cost of changing a company’s name or marketing because you infringed on someone else’s mark, or in the cost of not having a unique name and therefore sending business to your competitor.
Some of the tools we use to search for such intellectual property are readily available to anyone with a computer (internet search engines, the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System, etc.). But there are other tools we use which are more advanced, and we do not disclose them for reasons of trade secrets. In addition, our reports are organized by categories and prioritized by severity, and each of our findings will include an analysis substantiated with hard data. All of these factors combine to make our reports highly valuable and unique. Please contact Web Defense Systems if you are interested in having us perform a trademark search for words or images that you are considering using to promote your business.