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01. Trademark Clearance

Knockout Search

A trademark knockout search is a basic, cursory search that is carried out to determine whether or not a proposed trademark is available for use and registration. The search is typically conducted by businesses, entrepreneurs, and trademark attorneys in order to identify any potential conflicts or similar trademarks that may already be registered or in use that could prevent the registration of the proposed trademark. Basically, this is a Google search and a quick look in TESS to see if there's a character-for-character match of a mark.

The goal of a knockout search is to quickly assess whether there are any likely competitors using the same exact mark as yours. The goal of the search is to determine whether it's worthwhile to do a more detailed clearance search of your proposed mark. A knockout search is a preliminary first step, but it is definitely not the last step in the search process.

Clearance Search

A trademark clearance search is a comprehensive examination done to determine whether a proposed trademark is likely to be registered and whether it is already available. Businesses, business owners, and trademark attorneys frequently utilize the search to find any potential trademark conflicts or similar marks that may already be registered or in use and could impede the registration of the intended brand. A specialist with knowledge of the nuances of federal trademark law must conduct a clearance search.

Common law trademarks that may be in use but are not registered are also taken into consideration throughout the search process, in addition to current federal and state trademark registrations. The aim of the search is to estimate the possibility of success for the proposed trademark and to assist in identifying any problems or barriers that may emerge throughout the trademark registration procedure. It goes by the names pre-filing search, comprehensive search, or full search, and it is a more thorough and exhaustive search to find out if the proposed trademark is available and registrable.

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Brian Russ Law, Inc. conducts knockout and clearance searches for clients all the time. We are trained to understand to identify common barriers to registration.

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