How to Check Competitors’ Trademark Status Online

  • Trademark Clearance

Can you trust the search results from global trademark databases? Or more accurately, can you interpret them? 

PTO offices worldwide have yet to adopt universal status categories for registered marks, making it challenging to understand which trademarks registered globally are “dead” and which are “live.” 

Even more challenging is the fact that global mark results don’t always provide enough insight into the full landscape around a given mark. With many PTO databases, and other search tools, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether a trademark search result has been subject to an opposition or is in a grace period. Additionally, search users don’t always have the ability to access related trademark

Checking Trademark Status Online

ExaMatch™ was developed for law firm trademark attorneys, in-house counsel, and brand trademark managers to assess a possible mark candidate quickly, using web-based tools. Instead of spending a significant amount of money on a costly manual search, organizations needed the ability to eliminate marks that are not available for registration without the premature investment of large resources. 

With our preliminary trademark screening tool ExaMatch™, users can validate their own trademarks, research competitors’ marks, and determine whether names they are developing for new products, services, and brands are available for registration. 

The search process is as simple as typing in any word, or a series of words, and viewing readable results from 70 global trademark offices. 

Searches can be performed by: 

  • Mark text 
  • Owner 
  • Mark ID 

In addition to instant verification of marks that you own or are monitoring, ExaMatch™ offers the ability to view a complete trademark application, the number of applications filed for a search query, and visualize the total number of brands for a search.  

Understanding the Five Status Categories

In the United States, the USPTO typically communicates registered mark status with the terms “live” and “dead,” though they also use terminology to denote marks that are in a grace period or pending. We developed the following five categories for simplicity’s sake, to provide a global baseline for quickly assessing results using ExaMatch™. 

1. Valid 

A trademark that is registered and subject to active trademark protection. This is the equivalent of “live” for the USPTO but may be called “registered” by some other global trademark offices. 

2. Pending 

The trademark application has been submitted, but the mark is not yet successfully registered. In some regions, this is known as “published.” 

3. Grace Period 

The mark is registered but has passed the renewal date without a renewal being filed. There is a period of time in which you can file a late renewal which varies in length among global PTOs. 

4. Invalid 

A registration can become invalid through a process in which another organization successfully applies to have a registered mark canceled. Invalid marks can also occur when an organization is subject to a successful opposition. 

5. Expired 

When a trademark’s renewal date and grace period both expire without a renewal application, the mark will be denoted in ExaMatch™ results as “Expired.” In USPTO language, these marks would be referred to as “dead.” 

Instant Understanding of a Trademark’s Status

Brand owners need status intelligence to instantly understand the global landscape around a trademark candidate before dedicating significant resources. 

ExaMatch™ was designed to provide all new brand stakeholders with a collaborative, online source for preliminary trademark screening. It’s now possible to gain a single overview, and most importantly, understand results from global trademark offices due to simple, standardized language in search results and smart filtering. 

To learn more about ExaMatch™ and other Corsearch tools for faster and better trademark search, please click here.