A preliminary trademark search is a quick search to see if there any obvious reasons a trademark cannot be registered. Increasingly these can be done by users using advanced search tools, such as those used on TrademarkDirect and LawPanel. Though not all instant result searches are equal and many are too basic. A preliminary trademark search is also sometimes called a “knock-out” search.
A comprehensive search identifies all those who might have rights to oppose a trademark application or have grounds for cancellatiion of the registraion subsequently. This includes those with trademarks registered in the relevant nataional and supranational registries and those with common law rights. Searches can cover many databases and consider aural, visual and and conceptual similaroty. Those new to trademarks searching on a national registry are likely to miss relevant trademarks and rights, as trademark law is complicated.
An attorney trademark search will identify all relevant trademarks and righs. The attorney will also use their training and experience to evaluate the likelihood of the trademark being successful. This places the client in a well informed position.