When clearing a new brand or evaluating a multi-country trademark dispute, it is useful to get a quick snapshot of whether a mark is registered in key jurisdictions around the world. For a long time the cheapest “quick and dirty” searches cost several hundred dollars from the outside search firms (and usually took several business days to receive).
When several countries began putting their national trademark registries online, I commissioned Nathan Hoover (firstname.lastname@example.org), developer extraordinaire, to create a trademark metasearch, a program which queries the various databases and returns the results in several minutes (the Hungarian trademark database even returned depictions of design marks).
I am now happy to roll-out Metasearch 2.0. It has been migrated to the .NET platform, and is a lot faster than the first version. We have also added the WIPO database of international registrations. The search now incorporates the trademark registries of:
Additional countries are being added in the coming weeks.
While not a substitute for retaining local counsel to advise on the availability of a mark or legal status of a registration in any jurisdiction, the Metasearch is a good first step in evaluating a trademark. By opening several browser windows at once, you can mitigate the limits of dead-hit searching by simultaneously searching variants of a mark quickly (i.e., FOO BAR and FOOBAR). The results are displayed in an easy to read spreadsheet format.
Try out the search (if you use POKEMON as a search term, you get a picture of Pikachu from Hungary). Click on “metasearch” on the left sidebar. I hope you find the search helpful.
p.s. Because the search is based on the .NET platform, it can be delivered as a web service to your firm’s web site or intranet. We are also developing a plug-in which would allow search results to populate your own spreadsheet or database. Please contact me at email@example.com for details.