Before you spend time and money applying for federal trademark registration, determining your proposed mark's availability is key. Trademark conflicts can be costly. Our Comprehensive Trademark Search looks for any trademarks that may be similar to yours, including those with different spellings.
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If you are currently using, or plan to use a trademark, it is always a good idea to see if there are similar marks that could be confused with yours, or could affect your ability to use and protect your trademark. If there are any potentially confusing trademarks registered with the USPTO, those could affect your chances of registering your own trademark. Additionally, if there are any potentially confusing trademarks being used in commerce, but which haven't been registered, these could also affect your ability to register—as well as use—your trademark.
A conflict exists when one trademark is confusingly similar with another trademark already registered and/or being used in commerce. The principal factors used to determine if there would be a chance of confusion include:
In some cases, trademarks that may seem similar can coexist if they are unlikely to confuse a consumer. For example, two trademarks that may seem similar can both be allowed if they are used for unrelated products or services, and are therefore unlikely to cause consumer confusion. Here are some examples:
Not necessarily. In some cases, someone may have "common law" trademark rights simply by being the first to use a trademark in commerceóneither federal nor state registration is required for common law rights. Someone with common law rights can challenge your use or registration of your trademark.
For these reasons, it's a good idea to check beyond state and federal registries, such as registered corporate names and use on the Internet. These are included in both the WorldScan International and Federal, State, and Common Law packages.
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