Make your trademark…
Of all the steps involved with beginning a new business or adding products to one’s business, one of the most critical is branding. This includes everything from the company name to product names. An important step is to determine that there isn’t already a trademark in place. The following 10 websites will be useful tools for searching and getting one’s trademark registered. One of the first things to do is to Google it as that will give one an immediate idea as to how the intended name is currently being used. Even if a name has not yet been trademarked, if it has been used in a way that could undermine the mission of the business, it should be scrapped. The following 10 websites are shown in order of their Alexa traffic rating.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,816
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a logical first step as it offers an in-depth trademark search which has options for a basic word search as well as the ability to search for design marks. The site also provides useful information into the trademark process. It outlines a 19-step process quite well. The website has various tools including TESS to search trademarks, TEAS for filing forms online, TSDR for checking the status and viewing documents and more. Users should take the time to investigate the website thoroughly.
Global Alexa Rating: 6,195
There are a number of benefits of using the Thomson Compumark website including full searches, international full searches, pharmaceutical searches, copyright & entertainment searches and web searches. The site can also be used for trademark watching, which is a tool to allow businesses to safeguard their brand from potential infringements. They also offer screening tools that can be used for proposed brands anywhere in the world. Users can reach them by phone or chat online with a representative if they are unclear which search to use. Some of the searches can be accomplished through the Thompson Reuters Apple app called Trademark Analysis. Others are done by contacting the company.
Global Alexa Rating: 10,549
LegalForce is one of the largest trademark filers in the world – they file in 100+ countries. Companies can file their trademark for $159 plus the applicable government fee. They can search over 6 million logos, slogans and names dating back to 1870. They also offer the ability to speak with expert attorneys 24/7. They also offer a free European trademark search and a free international search. One can search for patents, trademarks, domains, logos and more. They also have an interesting tool in which users can type in a keyword and get branding ideas for free. They also offer services for incorporating an LLC, C Corp., S Corp., nonprofit or LLP.
Global Alexa Rating: 11,129
The WIPO offers a ton of assistance and IP services. On the website one can gain access to their global brand database which makes it easy to search nearly 12,000,000 records relating to internationally protected trademarks, appellations of origin, flags and other state emblems as well as the names, abbreviations and emblems of intergovernmental organizations. The database allows free of charge, simultaneous brand-related searches across multiple collections. Searches can be made in a number of manners, including by brand, name, numbers, dates, class and country. They can then be filtered by source, status, application date, origin, designation or expiration. It is a very in-depth database.
Global Alexa Rating: 129,294
Markify offers easy trademark registration for US and EU startups. Their fee includes help from an experience, independent trademark attorney, a comprehensive search report, and trademark and domain name watch. Businesses can also purchase the comprehensive trademark search report or sign-up for the global domain name watch separately. The standard keyword search is available on the site free of charge.
Global Alexa Rating: 199,468
TMview shows trademark information and is free to use. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is updated daily by the trademark offices and is available in 27 languages. The site can be used to check the availability of an idea for a name as well as to receive updates on selected trademarks. There are over 20 million trademarks in TMview. The main page lists the various offices that are represented. Clicking on one of these will take users directly to the website for that trademark office. In this regard it is a gateway to many national databases.
Global Alexa Rating: 224,865
Namecheck is a tool for instantly searching major social networks, popular domain names, new gTLDs and trademarks to find out about a name’s availability. This can be useful for those looking to brainstorm a new name, monitor their branding or even just manage their online reputation. The website is also useful for understanding what a trademark is and learning about the different types. One major distinction between trademarks and patents are that trademarks can be renewed forever, as long as they are used in commerce.
Global Alexa Rating: 948,908
NameChecklist can be used to check on a brand name, username, domain or vanity URL to see if it is still available on the Internet. Though technically not a trademark search tool, it can still be quite handy. For example, a new business that anticipates having a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn would want to know that the name they have in mind is not already being used. It can also be helpful in determining how much competition they would have in Google searches. Therefore, this site could be a big part of the preliminary work done before even getting to the trademark stage.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,122,855
Boliven is a leading online information portal for IP, R & D and business development professionals in science and technology intensive industries. Members have access to one of the world’s largest free patent search engines with over 60 million records from around the world. They go a step further by providing analytic tools and research. Users can sign up for a free 14 day trial to test the various services available. They do offer a search tool on the main page which uses the USPTO as its data source, thus providing over 5 million trademarks and 200,000+ companies. One can also search for patents, clinical trials, legal proceedings, medical devices, publications and news releases.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,548,906
TMarque offers trademark application services both for United States brand protection and internationally. Trademarks are registered on a country by country basis and pricing varies between the countries. The website also offers an advanced, free brand search on the Internet that searches over 8 million trademarks, 80 million domain names and millions of social media usernames – all for free. They also invite people to become an affiliate with them or a reseller. They have offices in Australia, England and New Zealand.
Since the majority of these websites obtain their information from the same sources, the choice of which to use will likely depend on factors such as ease-of-use, layout of the website and speed of the site but it never hurts to have more than one option for searching. Whether one files for a trademark application by themselves or uses the services of a trademark company is a personal choice. Those going it alone should take ample time to fully understand how the system works to avoid problems with their application.