UK Trademark Clearance Searching
We normally recommend a full trademark clearance search is performed in order to check that the mark is free for use and registration. The cost of performing a UK clearance search varies depending on the mark and the goods/services to be covered.
If the clearance search reveals that there are potentially conflicting registrations then you could choose not to file an application. This would mean that the intended or ongoing use of the mark will not be brought to the attention of the owner(s) of those existing registrations.
Although we normally recommend a clearance search, an exception to this is if the mark has not yet been used and if the application is not in many classes. It can in those circumstances be more cost-effective to simply file a trademark application and use the official search as a clearance search.
The downside of this approach is that the UKIPO doesn’t search for unregistered rights, so even a positive trademark examination report from the UKIPO is not conclusive that the mark is free for use and registration. If you do wish to adopt this approach we must recommend that a search for unregistered rights is also performed.
UK and EU (‘Community’) trademark registrations and pending applications can be searched here:
We would, however, caution against trying to use this interface for any full clearance searching as it does have various limitations on how it can search. It does, however, operate very well to find identical and near-identical marks.
Contact us for more information on UK trademark clearance searching and trademark checks.