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Intellectual Property has become an important means of amounding tangible wealth as both the intellectual properties and intangible assets jointly form the most significant driving force of the world economy. The scope of the intellectual properties increased very rapidly and regular attempts are made by the producers of new creative ideas to seek protection under the umbrella of intellectual rights. Intellectual Property is classified into two categories, vis-à-vis, Industrial Property, which include inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indication of sources; and Copyright.

Trademark is one of the vital components of every successful business marketing strategy as it helps creators and the service providers to create their unique identity in this competitive market. It helps in identifying, promoting and licensing their goods or services in this competitive market and to distinguish them from that of others. At one hand, this helps in cementing customer’s loyalty and on the other hand it benefits the businesses in flourishing successfully in the market.

But it is very important to register a trademark so that anybody else could not steal the credit from the original owner of the product or the services. But here comes the question as to how the registering proprietor could check whether his trademark which is being registered has already been registered or not so that there arises no dispute regarding its identity. The answer lies as going through the ‘Trademark Search’.

Trademark Search is significant for determining whether other business or businesses has already been using that mark or similar to that mark. This applies to both the wordmarks and the device mark. Many business hire law firms and lawyers to perform comprehensive trademark searches through different electronic databases to search for a trademark before registering it as it has not been taken already. This also helps the registered trademark in determining if their registered trademark is not been getting registered by any other proprietor or proprietors.

In India, the application for registering the trademark, after being examined by the examiner of the trademark, is published on the official website of Intellectual Property India, vis-à-vis, www.ipindia.nic.in. The proprietors of the registered trademark have to go through the applications and object in case of any dispute arises between the registered trademark proprietor and the one who is getting registered their trademark. 

Trademark searches are generally distinguished under two categories, i.e., “Knock-out search” or a “full search”.

  • KNOCK-OUT SEARCH- A knock-out search is the preclusive screening check to eliminate marks. It includes both applied-for marks that are still to get registered and the registered marks. This also includes the cancelled and abandoned trademarks. Generally, the knock-out search is performed before initiating any full searches or trademark application. It saves additional cost to pursue the mark when such conflicting marks are confronted at the initial check of the trademark search.
  • FULL SEARCH- Full search covers all possible approaches for trademark protection. This shall include marks that are identical to the subject mark as well as the close variations on the subject mark that cover potentially related goods and services.

Thus the trademark search has proved itself to be a boon for both the registering trademark proprietors and the one who has already registered their respective marks.

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