You’ve got an amazing idea to start a business, or you have produced a great product or thought of delivering a service. You even have created a brilliant novel and given it a name that wholly represents you. But how to check if name is taken?
Before you start your journey to make your brand’s image, you have to find your brand name. To ensure that your brand name is unique and recognizable among the billions of other similar businesses and companies, there are several official channels through which you can check if your brand or company name is already taken.
By using these official channels you will be able to make sure that the name you are trying to give to your company or brand has not already been taken, plus you will also be able to save your finances in case you have to rename your company.
Before moving forward, you need to look into legal matters while choosing the brand name for your company or business. If your company or brand name resembles another popular or even non-popular brand (specifically in a similar field or demographics) then you may have to face legal ramifications.
Therefore, you need to follow a thoroughly researched approach to name your company and do your best to check if the company name is taken and registered.
Below are some steps that can help you in knowing how to check if company name is taken or registered already.
Search engines combing
A better way to start your search is through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. In the address bar, type in your proposed company name and hover over the results. By searching through search engines, you will have a precise idea about how your search worked, but it is not the most comprehensive way to find the name. Consider a more inclusive approach that many brands and companies follow to avoid duplication.
For example, by searching through search engines you may come up with the names of those companies that may have closed or gone bankrupt due to the unavailability of the resources and bought the brand name when the company launched.
A business that is in the same position and the same field, but has beaten you in creating a domain name for their brand.
Check records at US Patent and Trademark Office
Companies also registered their brand names as a trademark. Trademarks are added to the brands to have another layer of protection and significance to the brand. Businesses can easily acquire trademark protection nationwide by registering at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can check an online database of USPTO for a brand name that could be similar to yours.
If a trademark business name is similar to your desired name, then it can cause you problems. If you think that similar names for the identical goods and services that you provide will harm your brand’s name or business, then it’s better to talk to a trademark lawyer before moving any further.
Use a brand name checker
A lot of online domain name checkers are also available to help you in avoiding brand name duplications. Many of them perform well, some do not. So, you can’t rely on software 100%, which works online and for free. As pointed earlier, there may be some brands that may be struggling to make an internet presence, and if you plan to choose a similar name to the brand that is not online, but is present in a physical store, you would end up duplicating the name.
However, Knowem is one of the authentic search tools online, which is predominantly US database-centric. Its user-friendly search looks through more than 500 social network searches along with a full USPTO database.
How to register a brand name?
When you decide to register your brand name, there are a lot of things that you need to consider while registering. For instance, what else are you registering with the brand’s name, the brand’s slogan? The logo? Or the combination of both? And why not a sound? (think of the Nokia ad)
Everything that is associated with your brand (name, logo, slogan, or even sound) is an asset to the brand and if you want to keep it under the name, then you have to register it. Each asset that is being registered adds a layer of protection that often prescribes you with an additional fee.
The registration system of trademark works for different classes i.e. application and search classes. You can view the trademark cross-search list at the USPTO website to have a full view of applications. Probably your brand or assets that you want to register will fall into one or more classes, each class registration comes with a different price.
The easiest way to have an idea about the budget that you may require for the trademark process is through the LEXOO TM tool. Put on your requests and get your estimated budget.
You also need to know that your application will not always be accepted. If rejected, you will not get the application fee back. Therefore, we recommend you hire a trademark lawyer. A lawyer by your side may add up in your budget overall, but they have been through the process countless times and will increase the chances of your application being accepted.
Before making any move to give your brand a name officially and regret later when you have to spend finances to rename your company’s name, try some of the mentioned ideas that how to check if company name is taken. If your request is rejected for the reasons like you may have wrongly selected the class or the entity already selected in another class etc. There’s a process behind responding to the objection, that can be handled by a trademark lawyer professionally.
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