FAQ trademark search2021-03-09T11:28:30+01:00

FAQ TRADEMARK SEARCH

The information on this page may provide the answer to your question. If it does not, or if you would like our advice about a specific subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.

MORE ABOUT TRADEMARK SEARCHES
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WHAT MAKES A TRADEMARK SEARCH SO IMPORTANT?

Searching the availability of your trademark name is very important. After all, you don’t want to invest in a trademark only to learn that it’s already taken! Or, worse, that you must recall your products! You wouldn’t be the first to have to do so. A search is therefore crucial. Even if the search reveals that your trademark isn’t available, a few adjustments may make it so.

As a specialist in the field, Knijff will be pleased to search the availability of your trademark and provide you with clear advice and solutions.

Click the button below to learn more about searching the availability of your trademark.

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ARE THERE DIFFERENT TRADEMARK SEARCHES?

A trademark can be a name, company name or logo. The availability of all of these elements can be searched. The first step is usually the identical trademark search: a first screening to check if your trademark name has already been registered. An alternative to an identical search is a Screen search, which reveals identical trademarks as well as similar trademarks.  This search gives you a broader picture than just an identical search.

A more detailed search into your trademark can then be made. A full availability search provides an insight into any risks of pre-existing trademark rights.

A logo search will check the availability of logo elements that form part of your trademark. A search of the Chamber of Commerce registers can also prove very useful. Knijff can carry out this search for you, and then advise you.

A good starting point for most searches is the Benelux area. If you also operate outside the Benelux, Knijff offers a special product for global searches: Multisearch®.

It goes without saying that Knijff will advise you on the searches that would suit you best based on your ambitions and budget. Click the button below to learn more about the various types of searches.

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HOW LONG DOES A SEARCH TAKE?

We can provide you with an initial identical screening within 24 hours, and the results of an availability search within five working days. Do you need the results sooner? Then we can speed up the process to three days, subject to a priority fee. Searches outside the Netherlands generally take eight working days to complete.

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HOW IS A SEARCH ASSESSED?

A trademark search checks a trademark’s availability for use and registration and possible so-called conflicting trademarks, trademarks that greatly resemble the proposed trademark. Based on pre-existing rights, trademark owners may object to the use and registration of corresponding trademarks. A trademark search should prevent that from happening.

An identical search checks the appearance of identical names in the register. In a Screen search, both identical trademarks as well as similar trademarks are revealed as trademarks that are similar to the proposed trademark may also form an objection. A Screen search is not as comprehensive as a full availability search which is recommended as final step. A specialist search agency will analyse trademarks that correspond with your trademark. The analysis is submitted to Knijff who will then assess the trademarks for possible risks.

Important in a trademark search are the specific products and services for which your trademark will be used. They play an important role in assessing whether or not a trademark poses an objection. Following a comparison of the trademarks and products/services, your trademark attorney will present you with a risk assessment on whether or not another trademark forms an obstacle for your trademark. We consider not only the legal risk (whether or not a party may take action against you), but also the action risk (the likelihood of this happening). This will give you a realistic view of the feasibility of your trademark.

In addition to availability, the registrability of your trademark is also checked. A trademark must meet certain standards to be able to serve as a trademark, such as be distinctive, non-descriptive, and not in violation of public order. Your trademark attorney will assess your trademark for these aspects too. Finally, the proposed trademark is checked for any negative connotations in different languages. We will then send you a report with our advice about the availability and registrability of your trademark.

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WHAT DO I DO IF THE SEARCH REVEALS OBSTACLES?

A trademark search checks the register for possible obstacles regarding the use and registration of your (new) trademark. Knowing the possible obstacles before you actually register your trademark enables you to carefully think about continuing with the proposed trademark. Possible obstacles emerging from the search may be easy to eliminate. A (minor) adjustment to the proposed trademark could make it sufficiently different from a pre-existing trademark so that the two can exist side by side.

In some cases, the product or services specification for which the trademark is registered can be adjusted to eliminate the overlap with the pre-existing trademark. Another option could be to apply for consent from the owner of the pre-existing trademark to avoid later objections. And sometimes, unfortunately, it is simply better to look for a different trademark. That is why we recommend that you consult with us early in the process of trademark design, when you are still flexible in your choices. Have you thought of different names for your trademark? Then we advise you to start by doing identical searches to check the availably and registrability of the most promising trademarks.

Click the button below to learn more about checking the availability of your trademark.

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IS YOUR TRADEMARK STILL AVAILABLE?

Click the button below to learn more about searching the availability of your trademark.

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