A trademark search
is a critical legal first step in the process of trademark selection
. A trademark search determines whether a trademark is available for use. As business attorneys, we believe that launching a new product, service, or business without first conducting a trademark search is flirting with disaster.
Simply stated, a trademark search is necessary because trademark rights under U.S. trademark law are granted on a first come, first served basis – i.e, first in time, first in right. A business or individual entrepreneur obtains certain trademark rights by being the first in a given market either to use the mark or to file for (and successfully obtain) registration. Once the business or individual entrepreneur obtains such trademark rights, it is entitled to stop newcomers from using similar marks in ways that are likely to cause confusion.