Fifty-two percent of trademark professionals are dissatisfied with the reporting efficiency of their search platforms.
For attorneys, it can take days to translate raw search results into a report on overall risk for a mark candidate. Everyone wants results faster, but does quantity have to come at the price of quality?
Many attorneys are balancing competing priorities during contracted trademark evaluations. Your clients may have a lack of understanding about the search process, which can further complicate work that is difficult to describe and quote.
Managing the Expectations of Trademark Clients
Your clients, brand owners who are investigating a trademark candidate, want to avoid premature brand commitment, set solid launch dates, and avoid joining the estimated 90% of the trademarks that are unregistered with the USPTO.
Today's trademark attorneys are faced with the challenge of balancing client expectations with an increasingly complex trademark landscape. Join us as we review whether quality and manageable quantity of trademark search results are mutually exclusive and how to balance these competing priorities.
What is Sufficient Quantity of Trademark Search Results?
Results from governmental databases do not offer enough insight to complete a comprehensive trademark candidate search. Today's attorneys are searching deeper to look into the public domain and the context that surround potential matches. Anything less than a comprehensive, context-driven search can fail to provide the true big picture.
Using a single platform or a combination of platforms, any successful trademark search should encompass results from each of the following:
- Public Domain Trademark Databases
- Other Classes and Product Categories
- Aggressiveness of Trademark Holders
- Phonetic and Visual Similarity of Trademark Candidate
- Word Meaning
- Internet Domain Registration
- Unregistered Trademark Names
- Company Names
Using a series of platforms can sometimes be necessary to verify all of the factors necessary to inform risk, including major eCommerce websites, apps marketplaces, and law databases. This level of comprehensive search can also reveal sensitive factors like possible negative connotations within client markets or potential difficulty registering web domains.
A single search platform is rarely enough, especially if you rely on legacy or open-source technologies. Evaluating each of the factors mentioned above can yield hundreds of pages of search results, forcing attorneys to sift through pages of irrelevant content and duplicate results entries. This process is time consuming and expensive. However, cutting back on the quantity of sources surveyed isn't the solution.
Why Quality Search Results is the Solution to the Value vs. Volume Debate
Regardless of your specialty, experience, or region, pretty much every trademark attorney is familiar with the pressure that comes along with a client request. Your clients want a risk assessment as soon as possible and your best efforts to manage their expectations aren't getting through.
Time is money for both attorneys and their clients, which is why there's a need for better quality of search results without sacrificing the quantity of search resources. Quality search results can be characterized by a single platform that doesn't just survey all important sources, it ranks and categories results in order of relevancy.
This should include:
- A simple, numeric risk assessment score based on your trademark candidate search.
- Ranked results according to risk, including identical, similar, and unregistered marks; and
- Translated results including phonetic and visual similarity of words from 150 different languages.
Quality search results do not negate the attorney's expertise or role in the trademark search process. Even with ranked results and a simple risk score that are powered by sophisticated artificial intelligence, an attorney's expertise is still required to translate results into a report for the client.
However, with the right technologies in place the process is significantly simplified and sped up, allowing you to get your report to your clients more quickly.
Trademark Search Technology for Today's Marketplace
The marketplace has evolved significantly. Factors like major search engines, paid search advertising, and mobile apps stores have significantly complicated the trademark climate, which has necessitated a more comprehensive search.
It's no longer enough to rely solely on open-source, government platforms which may only reveal limited intelligence. Legacy applications can be costly, slow, and may not yield sufficiently well-ranked or "smart" results.