Much time and effort goes into choosing a brand, but what if someone is already using (or has registered) a similar name in relation to the same kinds of goods or services? The launch of the new mark could be quickly followed by legal proceedings.
Conflict with third parties brings often avoidable issues such as costs, loss of valuable management time, negative publicity or, potentially, loss of value in the brand or business.
To help reduce this risk, we recommend that clearance searches (also referred to as availability searches or freedom to use searches) are carried out well before launch. A search should identify existing trade mark applications or registrations which are phonetically, visually or conceptually similar to the proposed mark identifying possible obstacles.
How we can help
We’ll develop a search strategy to make sure that all aspects of the mark are covered at the best cost and meet your required timeframe. Based on the results of these searches, we’ll advise on the availability of the trade mark for use and registration in respect of your proposed activities. We can also conduct supplementary checks to assess in more detail the level of risk posed by any earlier rights identified by the searches. We’ll help you to make evidence-based decisions about your brand selection.
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Alternatively, you can contact us directly and speak to a member of our specialist team.