Practices - Intellectual Property

Selection of Brands & Clearance

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Counseling clients in the U.S. and worldwide on the selection of and clearance for new trademarks, including company names, logos, trade names, product names, service marks and mobile app names.

Whether you are just developing your mark, or you want to register a mark you’ve been using for years, the first step in the trademark registration process is to determine whether and to what extent other parties are using trademarks similar to yours. Devoting resources to trademark clearance prior to commencing use of a mark or attempting to register a mark will help you save significantly on legal fees, both those needed to prosecute a trademark application through to registration, and fees needed to resolve trademark disputes that could have been avoided. DRM’s trademark attorneys regularly help clients select a strong mark, conduct clearance, including a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database search, and register the mark, all in service of securing the broadest protection.

DRM attorneys get high marks when it comes to selection and clearance.

The higher your mark is on the spectrum of distinctiveness, the stronger – and broader – the initial protection. Each trademark attorney at DRM who offers this service has more than a decade of experience providing trademark clearance and clearance opinions, so helping clients achieve the highest level of protection is almost second nature. To ensure we are meeting each client’s needs efficiently, DRM offer three levels of trademark clearance: Informal USPTO “Knock-Out Search”, Federal Only USPTO Search and Full Search.

The full spectrum of DRM’s brand selection and clearance services.

With so much experience helping clients with their respective marks, DRM’s attorneys are able to provide the full spectrum of brand selection and clearance services. We counsel clients regarding the selection of and clearance for new marks in the U.S. and worldwide, including, for example: company names, logos, trade names, product names, service marks and mobile app names. We frequently advise on the eligibility of a proposed mark for trademark registration with the USPTO and risks relative to use of the mark, including advice regarding the distinctiveness (or strength) of the proposed mark and potential conflicts with existing registered and unregistered marks. And, we work closely with a network of foreign associates to clear and protect marks in jurisdictions outside of the U.S.

We offer three levels of searching, and can help you determine which level is most appropriate for you based on your business goals and objectives. We find that most of our clients can benefit from one of the following:

  • Informal USPTO “Knock-Out Search”: This level is designed to capture direct conflicts;
  • Federal Only USPTO Search: This level aims primarily at assessing availability of mark for registration; and
  • Full Search: As the name implies, this level provides a comprehensive trademark clearance search that includes a formal opinion letter.

For those more unique situations, we’ll craft a customized clearance service offering. If your business falls into this category, you can expect a detailed scope of work and estimate before we commence the work.

If you’d like to learn more about how DRM could help you with brand selection and clearance, please contact Peter Kunin or Cathleen Stadecker.

Peter B. Kunin

Director

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Cathleen E. Stadecker

Director

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William Morris

William J. Morris, III

Of Counsel

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Jennifer Drake

Jennifer Drake

Associate

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Selection of Brands & Clearance

So You Think You Can Use Your Trademark Outside the U.S.?

This article provides an introduction to the benefits and pitfalls of international trademark protection, with a brief discussion of recent developments in China and Canada.
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Trademarks: The Spectrum of Distinctiveness

The Spectrum of Distinctiveness helps describe strength of marks under U.S. trademark law, and it informs the scope of protection afforded to a mark. The higher a mark is on the spectrum, the stronger it is in terms of the owner's ability to enforce its rights against 3rd party uses of similar marks.
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