Trademark clearance refers to the procedure of searching for pre-existing trademark uses of your proposed mark, and analyzing search results to determine whether or not your mark is a safe choice, free of substantial risks. The purpose clearing a mark is twofold. First, you want to make sure you will not infringe another company's trademark once you start using your mark. Next, if you want to register your mark federally, you don't want to waste the fees associated with the preparing the application and the filing fee, if you can establish ahead of time that the mark is already being used.
Trademark Clearance Search
Before you adopt your mark it is important to determine if it is already in use by someone else. Small business owners and entrepreneurs often make the mistake of not making sure the mark, name or logo they have chosen is available for use and registration. Often times business owners believe that because their business name is registered with the Secretary of States Office or they own a State trademark Registration for their mark the name has been cleared for trademark use and registration.
It is always best to have a Comprehensive or Full search conducted and reviewed by an experienced trademark attorney before adopting your mark. Investing in a trademark search now, minimizes the risk that you will infringe the trademark rights of another party which could expose your business to an injunction prohibiting further use of your mark in commerce and payment of damages to the prior trademark owner.