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Searching for trade marks yourself – What’s possible and what’s not

You can also carry out simple searches yourself.

Find out whether your trade mark is already being used or has been registered as a company or domain name by someone else. To do this, you can search free websites:

Be careful with images as they are very difficult to search for in online databases and on the internet. It's therefore important you get a professional to carry out an image search for you.

  

Has your search resulted in hits?

If so, you should check whether there are any potential conflicts between the signs. You can find information about this in our two leaflets:

  

What if you didn't find anything or you haven't identified any risk of conflict?

Then make sure that there aren't any trade marks that are similar to yours as your trade mark could also conflict with similar ones.

  

Below are some examples of similar trade marks where the existence of a conflict was confirmed in court:

  • Alcon against Alicon
  • Blackberry against Blueberry
  • Stoko against Toggo
  • Kimbo against Bimbo
  • Pectan against Spectane
  

As it's almost impossible to carry out a comprehensive search for similar trade marks on free websites, you should have a professional search carried out. The IPI or private search service providers can do this for you.