Do I need a trademark search?
We recommend that you conduct a comprehensive trademark search prior to filing for a trademark.
A comprehensive trademark search is a search that searches the following databases:
Federal trademark database search for direct hits and similar marks, including similar-sounding names.
Comprehensive state trademark database search (all 50 states).
Common law database search of over 15,000,000 records.
Worldwide website name database search.
Why should I conduct a search prior to filing for a trademark?
In short, to minimize the dangers of using a trademark that is owned by another or that the courts deem to be similar to your mark.
Why can’t I use the mark of another to sell the same or a similar good or service?
In layman terms, because you will get sued. If you are lucky, you will just get an order prohibiting you from using the mark. If you are not lucky, you will be made to pay for damages that you caused the owner of the trademark and you might further be liable for their court costs and attorney’s fees.
Are there any other risks that I can experience by not performing a search prior to using my mark?
Absolutely, you can lose all the money you spent branding and promoting your mark when the court orders you to cease using your mark.