Better safe than sorry.
When you order a trademark filing, our colleagues will perform a free identity search. An identity search might not be a satisfactory solution if you would like to reduce the risks of opposition as much as possible.
If you wish to know the risks associated with the registration of a certain name, you can order a similarity search. Our trademark professionals examine the EU database, the international trademark database, and the different national databases as well. Owners of the similar marks may oppose your mark if they consider their earlier trademarks to be similar to your mark.
Generally search is advisory in those cases when you are still able to choose another brand name or figurative mark if an earlier similar mark is found in the course of the similarity search. Otherwise (if a change of brand is not an option), it is better to go ahead with the application. If an opposition is filed, you can still decide if you want to withdraw your application or try to overcome the opposition.
good to know
Obviously, a trademark search does not entirely eliminate the possibility that other conflicting rights might obstruct the registration. The name chosen for your goods or services may not only be in conflict with an existing trademark but it may also come into conflict with other types of signs (such as company names, business signs, domain names or any distinctive and unregistered sign used in business). The diversity of applicable legal regimes and the nature of the signs searched may also be factors in the above, so a trademark search cannot give an absolute guarantee whether a name is available to use.
The existence of an earlier mark won’t lead to automatic refusal of your application, it is a risk that has to be assessed. This risk can be minimised if you only include in the list of services what is really necessary.
An alternative to trademark search is filing the mark without searching. The application will be published in the registration process, and if the holder of any earlier marks objects to the use of the mark, they will have the chance to oppose the mark. If an opposition is filed, the application may be withdrawn by the applicant. The only risk of this choice is that minor legal costs may be incurred during the opposition process.