A search shows which (identical and/or similar) trademarks have been registered or filed. The object of a search is to gain an insight into the possible risks ensuing from the use of a trademark.
A search should be conducted before you register a trademark, in order to gain an insight into the risks of using a new trademark. If you have already started to use a trademark, you have already taken the risk of infringing on the rights of another party. In this situation, we would be pleased to discuss the usefulness of a search with you, with the object of identifying the risk applicable as much as possible at this stage.
A search will never be able to provide certainty on the actual availability of a trademark. It is best to regard a search as: acting responsibly by using the resources available to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum.
Trademarks are: words, figures, letters, logos, representations, packaging designs, colours and all other ‘signs’ that could identify the products or services provided by an organisation. Several examples are: the SONY word trademark, the PHILIPS logo, the colour yellow for Zwitsal and the shape of the eight-cornered cigarette packet used by Davidoff. However, the name of an organisation (Marqu, for example) is usually a trademark too, because the name identifies not just the organisation, but also its products or services.
In most countries, including the Benelux, registration is compulsory and the right to a trademark will accrue to the first registrant and not to the first user. In the latter situation, the use of a trademark does not create any rights whatsoever. Because of this, anyone wishing to protect their trademark would be wise to register it. After completing the filing procedure, the filing will have been ‘registered’ and you will have a trademark registration, also just referred to as a registration.
If you would like us to provide you with detailed information and prices, or if you have any questions about this subject, please do not hesitate to contact our office. This will be completely without any obligation, of course.