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A global perspective is necessary for Trademark clearance

Our global marketplace creates substantial hurdles when researching, clearing and registering Trademarks. Not only must you search multiple sources for your proposed name, but you also must contend with the Trademark laws in each particular country where you wish to do business.

Although the process of Trademark clearance in the global market may seem overwhelming, it is worth the effort in the long run. It can save you the cost and inconvenience of name changes and lessen the potential for infringement lawsuits.

Companies of all sizes have learned the hard way that just because you have a Trademark in one country does not guarantee the same will be true in other parts of the world. In a recent example with Apple, Inc., the company learned it is unable to use the term "iWatch" for a new product - at least not in the UK. The United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office found the term to be too similar to "iSwatch" and "Swatch," both existing trademarks belonging to the watch company.

This ruling shows that, despite assumptions, Apple does not own a complete monopoly over the prefix "i" - even when in reference to electronic devices. Instead, the company will use the term "Apple Watch" in the UK market, as well as any others where Swatch has an existing Trademark.

To ensure you are thinking globally with your Trademarks, it is vital to be diligent in the clearance process. The best way to approach this as effectively as possible is with help from an experienced Intellectual Property attorney who understands global branding strategies.

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