Before your business begins using a mark that identifies your service or product, you must perform a trademark clearance search to ensure there aren’t other trademarks similar to the one you want to use. While this process can be long and difficult, it is absolutely essential.
Trademark clearance means you have determined that no other business is using a trademark similar to the one you’re considering using, preventing you from finding yourself in legal complications down the line.
To navigate the tricky process of filing for and obtaining a trademark, you must complete the following steps.
You may be able to make a trademark that’s similar to expired trademarks. Be sure you speak with a qualified trademark lawyer regarding this in case you wish to use a trademark that is too similar to an expired one.
Trying to register a trademark is typically complicated, and it’s advised you seek legal assistance when aiming to do so. Trademark clearance can prevent your company from facing legal troubles regarding your trademark in the future. If someone else is using your trademark or something similar to it, you won’t be able to register it.
For instance, if another party owns a trademark that is too similar to the one you want, you could have trademark rights violations filed against you, including cease and desist letters or infringement claims. Trademarks must be run through the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) first before attempting to use them, and if you don’t abide by this regulation, you may put your company at risk.
By performing trademark clearance, you not only avoid future legal disputes, but this process can save you money, as well.
If you do submit a potential trademark, only to be told another party is using the same or similar mark, you then have the ability to rebrand your company’s products. Because you’ll know what trademarks have already been taken, you won’t have to make drastic changes to what you’ve already done. You could make smaller changes that make your trademark just different enough to be clear.
Meanwhile, if you launch services or a website with a trademark that wasn’t passed by the USPTO, someone else could take legal action against you and prevent you from moving forward. However, if you went through the trademark clearing process, you can be at peace knowing you’re legally clear to proceed. This also means that you won’t have to spend whatever company funds you have on battling against another company over trademark disputes.
In order to avoid legal matters that your company likely doesn’t have the time or resources for, allow a qualified trademark lawyer to look through your situation and help you proceed.
A: Trademark clearance is the process where you submit your desired trademark to the USPTO to determine if anything similar is already in use. If your trademark is too similar or the exact same as something that already exists, you can then make changes to ensure you aren’t copying another company’s assets. If you’ve been cleared, you can then market your products and services without fear of legal action.
A: Without trademark clearance, your company runs the risk of being sued by another company for trademark infringement. For example, if your company logo is too similar to another company’s in a similar field, such as a shoe, then that company can pursue legal action, claiming you’ve copied their trademark. It’s advised to go through the trademark clearance process to avoid this and ensure your trademark is legal and fair to use.
A: There is no set amount of time for a trademark to clear, although you may wait anywhere from ten to 18 months. There are several details to examine when a trademark is submitted, and if you want to quicken the process, having the help of a knowledgeable lawyer can ensure you clear your trademark sooner. While the process is considered lengthy, it’s necessary to ensure you are legally cleared to use your desired trademark.
A: The price for trademark clearance searches isn’t set in stone, but most companies will pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500 to conduct a search. This is so they can fully determine if the trademark you’re considering using is taken or too similar. Also, your price can fluctuate depending on what type of legal assistance, if any, is supporting your case. Lawyers can conduct their own research to further improve your odds of avoiding legal trouble.
While you can file your own trademarks and go through the clearance process on your own, this is considered risky. You may forget to submit certain details to the USPTO, or you might be told your trademark is too similar but be unsure what to change. No matter the situation, we can help.
Four Reasons Legal has helped multiple companies across Denver address their trademark concerns and move forward with their efforts. Whether someone else is believed to be violating your trademark or you need help forming a trademark, we have the skills necessary to help your company navigate this complex process. Contact our team today with any questions or concerns you have.