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Trademark Searches - TreetWiki

Trademark Searches

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We recommend all show producers do some simple checks on brand names to minimize the chances of having this happen.
We recommend all show producers do some simple checks on brand names to minimize the chances of having this happen.
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The United States Patent and Trademark Office is your first port of call.
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The [http://www.uspto.gov United States Patent and Trademark Office] is your first port of call, even if you are in another country.  Generally, when any worldwide trademark is registered, any serious brand assures that they do simultaneous filings in the USA and often this is automatic, so the US trademark database is the most comprehensive and the first place to look.
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http://www.uspto.gov
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In the left hand column of the page you will see the Trademarks link. Click on this and further options will drop down.  Then, choose ''Search TM Database (TESS)'' (http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=login&p_lang=english&p_d=trmk).
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In the left hand column of the page you will see the Trademarks link. Click on this and further options will drop down.
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Once you are logged in, choose ''Free Form Search''
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Choose ''Search TM Database (TESS)'' (http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4008:msd2ek.1.1).
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In the Search Term field enter the following '''(SHOWNAME)[BI] and (041)[IC]''' and replace SHOWNAME with your proposed show name.   This search will find any text which contains any of the words in your show name, but will restrict the search to the broadcast industry (category 041).
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Choose ''Free Form Search'' (http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=search&state=4002:mhebtp.1.1).
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Although the above is the most specific search you can do, sometimes it either produces far too many results or not enough.  Here are some things to keep in mind or try:
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* Trademarks do not have to be exact to be considered the same.   Treet, treat, trrrrrreat and t-r-e-e-t are generally considered to be the same trademark, so different spellings and sound-alikes should be considered.
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In the Search Term field enter the following '''(SHOWNAME)[BI] and (041)[IC]''' and replace SHOWNAME with your proposed show name.
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* You cannot trademark something which describes what you do.   For example, you can't have a talk show called "Talk Show" or a racing program called "Dirtfield Racing" and gain any protection.   The upside is that nobody else can trademark that either, and Google decides who wins.   The best strategy is to pick a name that is trademarkable.
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* Try putting your term in quotation marks.  Searching for "Tonight Live" will find everything with the words "Tonight" or "Live" but if you put it in quotes you will only find exact matches.  Beware though, it is often better to sift through pages to be sure, otherwise you might miss "Tonite Live"!
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* Do a Google Search too.  Trademarks do not have to be registered to be valid.  For example, we have never formally registered the word SoundReach as a trademark.  However, if somebody tries to, we have proof we used the word ''as a sellable product'' before anybody else did.  So, if you do a Google search that will help you eliminate valid trademarks in use by others who have not registered them.

Revision as of 21:48, 29 June 2009

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