Trademark Search – Avoid unpleasant surprises

Before choosing a name, brand or applying for a trademark registration, a trademark search should be conducted. While this is optional, it alerts you of potentially confusing trademarks and thus saves you the cost of additional fees including the costs of an opposition, of defending a trademark infringement suit, changing your name and stationery as well as having to inform your customers/suppliers that you are “re-branding”.

This oversight can be both expensive and embarrassing. A search should cover names which are similar to or the same as your proposed brand name or trademark.

A common misconception is that you can use a trademark, name or brand that is not identical but merely resembles a registered trademark. A proposed name or brand need not be identical to cause confusion in the minds of consumers, it is sufficient that the proposed trademark/name or brand, sound, look alike or suggest the same idea as the registered trademark.