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You did it!

You’ve *finally* landed on the perfect name for your business.

You can already picture the fresh new logo you’ll get designed, your gorgeous website, and your business cards (do people still use those these days?)

Not to be a buzzkill — but you’re gonna need to stop right there. Did you complete a trademark search clearance on that amazing new name of yours?

No?

It didn’t cross your mind? Or maybe it did, but you didn’t want the hassle of hiring a trademark attorney to do it? 

Too pricey? Too overwhelming?

Fair enough — legal stuff is certainly not everyone’s forte, but luckily it’s ours.

And we hate to break it to you, friends, but bypassing a trademark clearance search is a huge legal no-no.

When developing a new brand or offer, conducting a trademark clearance search should be an essential part of your pre-launch strategy. Understanding the importance of trademarks—names and phrases that identify your business and offerings—is crucial as they can be valuable and protectable intellectual property assets.

Before fully investing in a name by developing a brand, creating marketing materials, launching a website, and announcing it to others, it’s important to ensure that your chosen name is unique and legally available. Here’s how to conduct a trademark clearance search:

How to Conduct a Trademark Clearance Search Without a Lawyer

  1. Decide on the Name or Phrase: Choose the name or phrase that will serve as your trademark. Make it something distinct and unique to your business.

  2. Create a List of Variations: Compile a list of three to ten variations that are similar to the trademark you intend to use (consider alternative spellings and similar sounding names).

  3. Search on Relevant Platforms: Conduct a comprehensive search on all relevant platforms, including:
    • Google and Bing
    • YouTube
    • Amazon
    • Podcast players
    • Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Threads, X, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn)
    • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search database at USPTO.gov

What to Look For

During your search, look for trademarks that are similar to your intended trademark and are used in connection with a related product, service, or industry. If you find a similar trademark being used in a related area, it might be close enough to cause trademark infringement issues or market confusion later on. The safest route is to choose a trademark that is not currently in use in connection with any related products, services, or industries.

Benefits of Conducting a Trademark Clearance Search

Performing a trademark clearance search can save you time, money, and potential legal issues down the road. Ensuring your chosen name is unique and legally available helps protect your business from future disputes and strengthens your brand’s integrity.

Next Steps

If you need further assistance with your trademark search or registration process, consider hiring a lawyer. Professional legal advice can help navigate the complexities of trademark law and ensure your brand is well-protected.


Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Protected & Profitable™

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Guide to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now!

*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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