Why we have to charge for trademark searches performed by an attorney.

Unfortunately, an attorney can not tell if you if a mark is “available” or not in just a few minutes. Determining if a mark is suitable for registration requires knowledge of trademark law and how it applies to your specific goods and services.

We offer attorney provided searches of the federal database for $95 or for no additional cost as part of our $165 new trademark application service.

When you hire an attorney on Legally.co to perform a trademark search, the search looks for:

1. Marks that sound similar.

We review your mark against a database of all pending and registered federal trademarks for :

•phonetic similarity
•orthographic similarity 
•misspellings 
•similar prefix, infix and suffix variations
•vowel and consonant similarity
•similar abbreviations and acronyms

Trademarks don’t have to be 100% identical for there to be a problem. They only have to look similar, sound similar, and convey similar ideas -  which is why our search reports include far more than just identical matches.

Download an example search report here.

2. Marks that sound similar and cover similar goods and services.

Identical marks can be registered where the goods and services covered by the marks are unrelated. For example, DELTA is registered for “airlines” and DELTA is also registered for “kitchen faucets.” Consumers shopping for a vacation flight are also very unlikely to be shopping for a new faucet at the same time, and in the rare cases that they were, they probably would not think that an airline was in the business of making kitchen faucets.

Just because an identical mark is already registered, doesn't mean it is not available for your proposed use, provided that registration of both trademarks is unlikely to result in consumer confusion.

Accordingly, we review your mark and proposed goods and services in relation to other registered marks. This is a time consuming process. We’re looking for trademarks that look somewhat similar to your proposed mark that also cover related goods and services. These are the types of marks the trademark office will refuse to register entirely or will require you to successfully argue your case that the marks are not confusing before they will issue a registration.

Knowledge of trademark law is essential to understand what makes goods and services related.

3. Common Law Sources (Optional - But Suggested)

There is no requirement that a trademark be federally registered. Further, even if you are the first to secure a federal registration, it does not help you against someone who has been using the mark in commerce longer. In fact, that earlier, unregistered user could cancel your registration in the future.

A common law trademark search is almost always recommended, as discussed here.

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