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How to Run a Free Trademark Search?

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Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Swetha LLM

Let your brand stick out from rivals by giving it a unique look and feel. Acquiring a trademark is a necessity in today’s modern robust economy in order to obtain confidence and gain insight into people. Your brand conveys the value of your products or services through the design and logo. But before you start your creative branding journey, you must first do a trademark search.

Trademark Search

The process of searching for a trademark name, logo, or design you want to trademark from a trademark database is referred to as a trademark search. If identical trademarks have been registered or are in progress, the applicant can modify the moniker of their trademark. This process helps the applicant reduce the likelihood that any trademark or label that is confusingly close to or similar to the suggested trademark would cause a conflict during the registration process.

The trademark search database contains all trademark applications submitted in India by a number of parties. All trademarks are listed on the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) website. Information about all filed, pending, and lapsed applications for trademarks is available in the Trademark Registry’s database.

Significance of a Trademark Search

  • It is necessary to do a trademark search to avoid breaching any relevant laws.
  • To refrain from replicating, a trademark needs to meet the prerequisite of availability.
  • To ensure its uniqueness, a trademark needs to be appropriately classified as well.
  • A thorough search could help prevent any possible disputes.

Why Is Trademark Search Required in India?

Searches for trademarks are difficult. Due to its time and labor-intensive nature, many opt to outsource the process. It may ultimately cost more to search on your own than it would to use an agency, so keep that in mind. Considerations for selecting a trademark public search firm should include the following elements.

  • Expertise: To ensure that the business can provide accurate outcomes in a variety of disciplines, confirm that it has experience in multiple industries and specialties.
  • Cost: Verify that the business bills a fair price that is in line with what other agencies charge.
  • Duration: To find out how long you’ll have to wait for your findings, check out how long their turnaround time is.
  • Outcomes: To ensure that any prospective trademark will be protected from infringement, you should find a reputable company that provides reliable results.

Advantages of Trademark Search

Despite its intricacy, trademark searching is an essential phase in the trademark protection procedure.

  • We can ascertain whether someone else has already registered our brand name.
  • It provides us with details on banned and limited trademarks.
  • We can find out if our trademark and any other trademarks are phonetically similar.
  • It gives us all the information about any similar logos that are relevant to our trademarks under the Vienna Code Classification.

Search Parameters for Trademarks

There are three different search types accessible, which consist of:

  • Word Mark: for a word mark representation that is similar;
  • Vienna Code: for an artistic representation that is identical; and
  • Phonetic: for words that are phonetically similar.
  1. Use Word Mark Search

For example, to perform a Word Mark search, select the “Word Mark” search type and type the term or keywords of the suggested trademark for the “Word Mark” box.

Forty-five classes are available for online trademark registration. Classes 1-34 of the Nice Classification address a variety of products, while Classes 35-45 are concerned with services.

Consequently, you will have to enter the class in the “CLASS” correction field. Furthermore, the class or classes need to be associated with the products or services you sell under your brand. In the trademark database, you may only search using one class at a time. A Word Mark search can be performed utilizing any of the prefix methods, including “Starts With,” “Contains,” and “Match With.”

  1. Phonetic Search

The phonetic search would be similar to the Word Mark search method discussed earlier, but it would use the prefix approach. Consequently, you can utilize the previously described procedure to perform a phonetic search for the trademark.

  1. Vienna Code Search

Usually, the Vienna code search is done to find a device mark that is similar to it. In order to achieve this, choose the relevant class and input the six-digit Vienna code that is related to the word “Vienna code.” Every mark that had the device would then be shown in the outcome table after the search.

How Should a Trademark Search Be Performed?

The procedures to verify trademark availability in India are listed below:

  • Make use of the Indian Trademark Database: To find similar or comparable trademarks, start by using keywords on the CGPDTM website. Sort the results according to class, trademark type, and match level.
  • Perform Extensive Web Search: To find registered and common law trademarks, supplement database searches with online search engines, directories, and social media.
  • Verify Domain Name Availability: Verify the availability of domain names that correspond to your trademark in order to find any potential disputes. But remember, this does not ensure that the brand you use will be available.
  • Seek Expert Guidance: Given the limitations of internet searches, it is best to seek the advice of a trademark lawyer or agent who is familiar with Indian law. In relation to trademark accessibility in India, they could carry out a comprehensive search, evaluate risks, and provide knowledgeable guidance.

Steps to Check for a Trademark

Anybody can perform an Indian trademark search by following these simple instructions:

Step 1: Go to https://ipindia.gov.in, the website of the Trademark Registry.

Step 2: From the homepage, select the “Trademarks” link.

Step 3: After selecting the “Related Links” option, choose “Public Search”.

Step 4: Select the relevant search category, like “wordmark” or “Vienna code.”

Step 5: Select a suitable search term, like “contains,” “starts with,” or “phonetically similar.”

Step 6: Type the planned trademark name into the box for search results.

Step 7: Type in the appropriate class number that the mark or label is intended for.

Step 8: From the menu, choose “Search”.

What to do with the Search Results?

Examine if it would be possible to register the suggested trademark. If conflicts arise, make changes or scrap it. Apply to the Trademark Registry with the necessary information, supporting documentation, and fees if the trademark is distinct and free of conflicts. To assist companies in avoiding infringements on already-registered trademarks, it is imperative to verify the existence of a trademark in India. For appropriate trademark availability verification, even using proactive search methods, experts’ advice is still recommended.

Conclusion

A crucial first step before registering is to do a trademark search to protect your brand and ensure compliance with the law. There is a greater opportunity for an achieved trademark registration if the processes are followed and carefully reviewed trademarks that have previously been registered. This will reduce the potential for trademark disputes. Being proactive can help you protect your company’s brand and save expensive legal conflicts. Thus, spending time and money on in-depth research is necessary for the creation and maintenance of a strong brand identity.

FAQs

  1. Who Requires a Trademark Search?

Comprehensive research on trademarks is necessary before submitting an application. An extensive trademark search can save an abundance of time and money when filing a trademark application. A trademark application may be denied due to the proposed mark’s remarkable similarity to the already-registered mark. You can stay clear of this problem by conducting complete trademark research.

  1. How does a trademark search work?

A trademark search is an action taken to ascertain if a trademark is used in commerce. Any mark that even slightly mimics the mark that is being investigated may be covered by a comprehensive or narrowly targeted trademark defense strategy.

  1. Why is it necessary to run a trademark search?

To make sure you don’t violate anyone else’s property rights, the intelligent TM Search will assist you in determining if the mark you wish to register for goods or services is presently being used by another company or is lawfully available. To be registered, you would need to find the same mark in the same class.

  1. What kinds of trademark searches are available to the public in India?

Vienna Code, Phonetic, and Wordmark searches are one of the popular forms of trademark searches in India. Different elements, such precise matching, comparable sounding, or distinctive gadget trademarks, are the focus of each category.

  1. Does conducting a trademark search necessitate hiring an attorney?

For a free trademark search, it’s not necessary, but recommended to work with an attorney. Experts may perform a thorough search, produce a list of similar marks, and provide legal advice about the likelihood of successfully registering your trademark.

Swetha LLM

Swetha, LLM, a lawyer with skills in writing legal content, is passionate about simplifying complex legal concepts and engaging readers with her insights of nuanced legal ideas. She is able to preserve the accuracy of legal material while adjusting the tone and style to fit the audience.