Before adopting, using, and applying to register your trademark, it is good practice to perform a comprehensive federal trademark search in order to help minimize the risk of being sued for trademark infringement by someone who owns prior rights in an identical or confusingly similar trademark. Furthermore, a federal trademark search will assist you in determining whether the name, slogan, or tagline you want to use is eligible for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Although you can (and should) hire a trademark attorney to conduct your trademark search and provide you with a legal opinion as to whether your mark is available for trademark registration, another option is to perform the search yourself using an online trademark search engine, such as the one offered by Trademarkia (a/k/a LegalForce).
However, please allow me to demonstrate why using the Trademarkia or Legalforce search engine has tremendous potential to lead you astray and completely waste your time and hard-earned money.
A Simple Experiment Demonstrating the Ineffectiveness of Trademarkia
nike shoes krispy kreme donuts
gillette razors duracell batteries
dell laptop avon cosmetics
ford pickup xerox copiers
Above is a list of eight phrases that each incorporate a famous trademark. Pick any one you like and then surf on over to Trademarkia.com (or Legalforce.com). Type your chosen phrase into the search field and click the “SEARCH” button.
The following “recommendation” will appear:
This name is not found in our database of U.S. trademarks, so Apply for it Now. Check off countries you wish to trademark your name/slogan in.
I Hope You Realize the Absurdity of Trademarkia’s “Recommendation”
There is a reason why I use the color red (the universal color for “danger” and “warning”) for Trademarkia’s ill-advised “recommendation” to proceed with a trademark application.
Because the exact phrase you selected was not found in Trademarkia’s database, you are encouraged by Trademarkia to pony up some cash and submit a trademark application through Trademarkia’s application filing service. Yet, the eight examples noted above incorporate some of the most well-known registered trademarks in the United States. There is clearly no way the USPTO would approve a trademark application seeking to register any of these eight phrases. They are all much too similar to existing registered trademarks in terms of appearance, sound, meaning, and commercial impression.
Not only would the application be refused, you would lose all the money you paid to Trademarkia as well as the government filing fee you paid to the USPTO. You would also be looking at a trademark infringement lawsuit if you started using one of these phrases to advertise and sell your products/services.
Needless to Say, a Search Engine Cannot Think or Reason
Trademarkia is a search engine (and perhaps not a very good one at that). Unlike a trademark attorney, a search engine cannot think, reason, or use good judgment. A search engine also can’t ask questions or advise you on the proper course of action. In addition, a search engine can’t help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that may delay or void your trademark application.
So despite any value you may perceive Trademarkia to offer, remember it is only a search engine. As such, it can only react to your input in a robotic manner. It can only draw its results from information in a finite database. This means the results are often inaccurate…and sometimes downright irresponsible. Hopefully, the experiment I just encouraged you to perform has proved this point.
A Trademark Attorney Understands Your Unique Needs
If you want to save time and get accurate search results, forget the do-it-yourself trademark searches. Only by using the services of an experienced US trademark attorney can your unique needs be properly served.
So whether you need to perform a trademark search, register a trademark, pursue a trademark infringement matter against another party, or defend a challenge to your own trademark rights, please do not hesitate to give me a call at (314) 749-4059. I look forward to providing you with prompt results and cost-effective solutions.