Written By: Cara O’Hanlon
Edited By: Zara Watson, Esq.
Advertising campaigns are crucial to spread awareness about your business and attract potential customers. However, marketing your products and services can also come with the risk of trademark liability. Companies are always looking out for possible trademark infringement. If anyone claims that you are infringing on their trademark rights, your company may face legal costs as well as the expenses of changing your name. If you haven’t yet registered your name, trademark clearance searches can prevent you from using a mark that has already been registered. By completing a trademark clearance search, you can determine whether the name or logo you want to use is already in use. It is important to find potential trademarks to prevent the risk of liability.
A trademark clearance search also includes a common law search. This will inform you if any other companies are using the same mark on the internet or social media, even if this company has not registered their mark. Trademark rights typically belong to whoever used the mark first in commerce. If someone else has already advertised their business under the mark, they may be entitled to common law rights, even if they have not registered the mark. Earlier filing dates of trademark applications also have many advantages. If you apply first for a trademark, your application will be reviewed first, even if someone has used the mark before you. It is important to complete a clearance search and start the process of obtaining the trademark rights to your name to avoid infringing on another company’s trademark rights and protect your brand. By securing your mark before advertising, you can continue to build your brand and avoid the costs of changing your advertising campaigns if you are obligated to stop using the mark.
*** This is for informational purposes only, no attorney-client privilege has been formed.