Do you really have to search?

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Trademark Search Trademark Law Intellectual Property

Do you really have to search?

Yes. Increasingly the case law is indicating that failure to “adequately search” will leave the “innocent” infringer liable to pay over profits and perhaps even pay punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Searches cannot be definitive, because there may be small users that are not turned up by the usual search methods. Also the U.S. Trademark Office is behind as a bureaucratic matter in processing new applications, so that there is always a gap between the time the application is filed and the time it first reaches a database where it will turn up in a search (6-10 weeks or more). (In order to provide improved service to trademark applicants, registrants, and the general public, the Patent and Trademark Office has implemented a pilot program called the “Trademark Assistance Center.”)

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