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Screening, Clearance Searches, Reports, and Investigations
Once a trademark has been selected, a limited “screening” or “knock out” search followed by a full comprehensive clearance search should be conducted to determine whether anyone else is using the same or confusingly similar trademark for the same or related goods or services, and, therefore, be able to successfully challenge your use and registration of the trademark. Searches also help determine whether the selected trademark will be protectable against others and can reveal potential obstacles that may be encountered in registering the trademark. From a legal perspective, failure to conduct these searches before adopting and using a trademark may leave an individual or company open for a claim of trademark infringement. From a business perspective, failure to conduct these searches can result in the loss of investments in advertising, promotional, and collateral materials, as well as any goodwill developed in the trademark.
Booth Udall Fuller attorneys conduct a preliminary screening search to eliminate those marks that are identical to marks already in use, registered, or pending for goods or services identical or related to yours by searching the trademark on the Internet and checking the phone book, reviewing trade journals and guides in your industry, and by searching federal trademark applications and registrations on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System. Even if the preliminary screening search does not reveal any potentially conflicting uses, it should not be relied upon to conclude that the selected trademark could be adopted and used. In most instances, a full comprehensive clearance search will need to be performed.
Booth Udall Fuller attorneys utilize proven commercial companies to conduct independent and objective clearance searches of numerous databases encompassing federally registered, pending, abandoned, cancelled, or expired trademarks, state registered, pending, abandoned, cancelled, or expired trademarks, and common law sources such as trade journals, phone books, corporate listings, Internet domain names, World Wide Web sites, business names, buyer’s guides, catalogs, and industry directories, as well as administrative and court decisions relating to trademarks. Once a search report is received, a comprehensive analysis of the search results is then made by Booth Udall Fuller attorneys to determine which results may pose a problem, and clients are then provided a legal report concerning the viability for both registration and use of their proposed mark for its particular goods or services.
Routine IP Audits are important for a company in understanding its bankable assets and ensuring they are protected. Due Diligence reports and analysis of all types of intellectual property can help you to value those assets and enhance their value in your business plans. Progress through innovation requires first knowing where you are and the landscape in which you compete. Only then can you create a plan for moving forward.
Contact Booth Udall Fuller to have us audit your company, your competition or your potential acquisitions.