Is a Patent or Trademark Search a Guarantee? Or Not?

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A patent or trademark search is a good tool for getting insight into what relevant patents, patent applications, trademarks, and other products or businesses might be out there.

They also show you your competitor's products & trademarks that may affect your trademark or patent application or even the ability to market your product.

Frequently, however, clients ask the question: 

“Do results guarantee that I’ll get my mark registered/patent allowed?” 

The Answer:


*roll credits*

...but seriously... although a patent or trademark search can INCREASE your odds of obtaining a patent or trademark, they are by no means a guarantee that you actually will get one.

I have never met an attorney or search provider that included any kind of registration or patentability guarantee. 

If you find one, be very skeptical. 

So... What's The Point?

The reason is that the goal of a search is to investigate the trademark or patent landscape and see if it makes sense to pursue your trademark or patent.  

It is all but impossible to perform a search exhaustive enough to guarantee results.

For example, a patent application filed last month could be particularly relevant to what you are doing but that patent application won’t publish for over a year. 

That means that you simply won’t see it come up in a search. 

Additionally, trademarks, patents, and patent applications may be mis-classified or be misleadingly described or named such that even the most diligent search provider would not be able to find it. 

For these reasons, it is important to remember that, while a search can be a powerful too, it is not a guarantee. 

Searches can provide great insight into the landscape of intellectual property and better inform your planning, but it does not guarantee you will get what you are after.

What Should I Do Now?

The best tool for navigating that landscape is a skilled and experienced patent attorney who can help you digest the results of your search and can work to help you build a strategy for your specific situation.

If you don't yet have an attorney, Miller IP Law offers potential clients a free legal consultation over Zoom!

It's just a brief Zoom call (up to 30 minutes) where the attorney will ask you about your ideas, your business, and your patent/trademark opportunities. They will then let you know the best courses of action that they would recommend to protect your intellectual property.

To start, just click the link to Schedule a Strategy Session and use the calendar to schedule a time that works for you!

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