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:
- via internet search engines
- in the Trade Mark Database for Swiss trade marks and internationally registered trade marks with protective effect in Switzerland
- in the Madrid Monitor database for internationally registered trade marks
- in TMview for trade marks registered in the EU and many other countries
- in the Central Business Names Index for companies registered in Switzerland
- in SWITCH for domain names.
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.
Then make sure that there aren't any trade marks that are similar to yours as your trade mark could also conflict with similar trade marks.
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.
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