Imagine being told that you cannot use the business name or logo you’ve chosen after spending time and money getting a website, pictures, business cards, or a logo created.
Why Search? Picture This…
You're confidently weaving through the business streets, your brand gaining momentum, and then bam! A legal roadblock hits – a refusal from the USPTO or a cease-and-desist letter claiming someone else owns a similar trademark. Panic sets in, and you're facing the challenge of rebranding. Not a minor detour, but a hurdle that can cost you time, money, and the trust of your customers. One investment could prevent this hurdle: a trademark search.
A trademark search acts as your brand development map, helping you, the business owner, anticipate potential roadblocks before they disrupt your journey.
The most obvious benefit of a trademark search is that it allows you, the brand owner, to evaluate if your desired name or logo is unique in the market. When a new trademark application is filed, it undergoes extensive examination against existing federal registrations. If confusing similarities arise, the application faces potential rejection by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). Running a professional trademark search ahead of time serves as a proactive confirmation of a name's distinctiveness before investing in the application process. If conflicts do emerge in the search results, you have the opportunity to pivot on the name or logo design before submitting the trademark application. This prevents application rejection and avoids prolonging the trademark registration timeline.
Risky Business: Rejection & Prolonged Routes
If similarities between your proposed mark and an already registered (or filed) mark are discovered, a rejection of the application by the examining attorney is possible. Even slight similarities in appearance, sound, meaning, or commercial impression with existing marks can be grounds for refusal during examination. Rejection leads to back-and-forth with legal arguments, extending the application period for months or even years. Not the smooth ride you envisioned, right?
Let's talk money
Rejection isn't just a hit to your timeline; it's also a blow to your budget. The USPTO filing fee for every new trademark application ranges from $250 to $350 per international class of goods and services. Now, if you're filing under multiple classes, a rejection could translate into flushing down over $1000 in fees and thousands in legal fees. Not to mention, the money spent getting a website down and other branding materials. If you don’t like wasting money, invest in a comprehensive trademark search before filing, saving you from unnecessary expenses.
When should you get a trademark search?
The moment you come up with a new brand that you love and have the intention of nurturing its growth for long-lasting success.
At the Law Office of Aleece McKnight, we specialize in trademark law and work with clients across the United States. Our experienced trademark attorney, based in Nashville, Tennessee, can help you decide which strategy is best for your brand and guide you through the trademark filing process.
Ready to secure your brand's future? Contact the Law Office of Aleece McKnight to work one-on-one with an attorney who understands trademark law inside and out. Let's protect your brand together!
Legal Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney regarding your specific situation.