How do you interpret trademark search results?


We interpret full trademark search results with two objectives in mind—determining whether the proposed mark is an infringement risk and assessing how strong the proposed mark’s rights would be if it were to register.

With respect to infringement risk, we look for marks that are similar to the proposed mark and cover related goods or services as the proposed mark.  In order to determine whether similar marks would be a problem, we assess the results overall to see evaluate the extent of protection that a potentially relevant mark has. For example, LAMP COMPANY might conflict with a registered mark for LAMP STORE. But if there was another registered mark for LAMP SHOP, that may indicate that marks with “lamp” plus some descriptive word for a retailer were able co-exist.

The evaluation of a mark’s strength is related to the infringement risk analysis. We assess how common the elements of the mark are in the relevant field or how many similar marks exist for related goods and services. In the example above, LAMP COMPANY may not have an infringement risk, but it would be a weak mark due to the ubiquity of similar marks.

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