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Attorney feedback behind Markify's new search and watch services

“Listen to the customer” is a popular, and often a very good, advice when you develop your products and services. We didn’t just listen, we sat down with some of our best trademark attorney clients and discussed for hours.

“How can we at Markify help you serve your clients better?” was our main question.

The core answer, from both small and big firms, was rather simple:

“We like your searching and watching services. We love the accuracy of your trademark search algorithm. And the Markify pricing is amazing.

But, your services need to cover more trademark, domain name and common law databases.”

So the last year our team have been busy adding new databases to our comprehensive searching and monitoring services for trademarks and domain names.

Our geographical focus in this process has been the 28 EU countries, the US and the new gTLDs. We start here, but we will not stop here . . .

You find detailed descriptions, samples and pricing of our new offers here:

Comprehensive Search reports

Trademark monitoring

Domain name monitoring

We truly understand the value of your feedback. It is what helped build these services in the first place. So any more feedback is highly appreciated!

Now anyone can afford a Comprehensive Search Report

The Markify trademark search has since the start 18 months ago been recognized as the most accurate and comprehensive in terms of finding confusingly similar trademarks. Now we add new databases and new features to make it even more useful in our two main markets: the US and the EU.

To our current databases, USPTO and CTM, we now add:

  • US common law – A search among more than 15 million registered US businesses.
  • Domain names –  Confusingly similar domain names in .com, .net, .org, .info, .us and .biz. Identical hits from approx. 200 ccTLDs.
  • WIPO – More than 600.000 international trademarks.

The new Comprehensive Search Report from Markify has four features no other search provider have:

1. Superior accuracy

We are the only search provider that can give you a result list that finds 99% of all confusingly similar trademarks (see benchmark report where Markify was ranked number 1.

Our result list also contain much less “noise” than other full availability reports. Instead of going through a list of say 2.000 results, you get a list of 300 results. This ofcourse saves you lots of time.

How is it possible for us to give you all the relevant results but skip the bad ones?

The Markify trademark search s is a built on a statistical method using more than 10.000 actual cases where a likelihood of confusion has been established by a governement official, in the US or in Europe.

To our knowledge, no other trademark search algorithm is built like that.

2. Relevance ranked results

The Markify Comprehensive Search Reports are relevance ranked (so is in fact the free trademark search also). This means that you in most cases will find your potential conflicts on the first pages. Talk about time saving.

The relevance ranking is also built on the statistical case law data.

3. Custom branding

You can easily customize the report and put your own branding on it if you choose. Once you have bought the data, you can customize and download as many variants of the report as you like.

4. Unmatched price: $100

We believe every brand deserves a safe start.

Most entrepreneurs and start-ups work on a very tight budget. Until now most of them have skipped a full availability search, because a price of $300-$600 has not seem attractive.

We aim to change that. We start by putting a rock-bottom low price on our two Comprehensivie Search Report packages: only $100 for the US Comprehensive or the EU Comprehensive.

Read about the other new services launched by Markify in May:

Trademark attorneys can now afford to give all clients a global watch & monitoring service

Global domain and trademark watch included in new Brand Protect Kit

Markify launches powerful trademark and domain services at INTA 2012

Markify is celebrating a fantastic year of start-up experiences

When we launched Markify a year ago we had been building our trademark similarity algorithm for more than two years. Why did it take so long? The simple answer is that our ambition was to build the world's best trademark search engine.

The more complex answer is that I was convinced that to launch with an inferior product would not give us a real test of Markify. It would not test if we had a "minimum viable product", to speak Eric Ries language.

But it was not an easy decision. We had a lot of discussion in the team on when to launch, and the term "good enough" was always challenging "the world's best trademark search engine".

So the feeling  when we finally launched in December 2010 was one of great relief and anticipation.  Since then everything has gone much faster, our learning curve has accelerated and we are having so much more fun!

Some of Markify's highlights 2011:

  • Reaching more than 100.000 users every month, and rising, that are doing comprehensive trademark and domain name searches.
  • Reaching 99% accuracy with our trademark search algorithm.
  • Becoming number 1 in the US benchmark of trademark search services.
  • Getting that amazing response from so many trademark attorneys at the INTA meeting in San Francisco in May.
  • Lauch of the world's first free comprehensive trademark watch, together with the Pro watch for trademark attorneys.

What has been most challenging 2011?

I think Steve Blank put it best: "A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model."

We have been fortunate to have very good investors in the Nordic VC firm CNCP. But VC money is NOT a business model, even if you are sometimes lead to believe that.

To balance business development and product development. That has been and will be our greatest challenge going forward.

When Markify now moves into 2012, I can promise you some soon-to-come exciting new releases. And I believe these will have the right mix of a great product and a good business opportunity - for both you and us.

Trademark search that helps
entrepreneurs avoid conflict

Today Markify is launching the world’s first free search and watch for similar trademarks. Our vision is to make it easier for entrepreneurs and brand name creators to avoid conflict and protect their trademarks and domain names.

With Markify you can quickly and easily check any name to see if anybody is already operating under a similar trademark - both in the US (USPTO data) and in Europe (CTM data). So you can avoid them in your search for a new domain name or trademark. Avoid what the law calls "likelihood of confusion". Otherwise you might have to change your name later. A risk no business should take.

This first blog post cover the story on why and how we built this new kind of trademark search that is both fast, accurate and free.

The problem

Entrepreneurs and brand name creators know how hard it is to create a new, good name. The crowded domain name space has made it even more difficult. And when you have created a name and you think you can secure the domain name, there is still one big obstacle left:

Are there any similar trademarks out there, doing anything related to your business?

To answer that question you have to spend at least $500 on an availability search for similar trademarks, and that is for checking just one name, in one market. And it takes 48 hours to get the result, which is of course way to long in an intense name creating session.

So that was the problem: Trademark search has been slow, difficult and expensive.

The solution

After being involved in professional name processes for ten years I decided to try to change this.  I wanted to make trademark search easy, accurate, fast and free. So entrepreneurs and brand name creators  easily could check possible names for similar trademarks and domain name availability immediately.

I knew from the start that it was not going to be easy, that we would have to be a team with some very specific competencies.

As it happens, my father-in-law, Benny Brodda, is a professor emeritus in computational linguistics (Stockholm University), and he is a pioneer in the trademark search field. He built one of the first software programs for finding similar trademarks and sold his successful trademark search company in the 90’s. Benny has 30 years of experience and is of course a very valuable advisor.

The rest of us in the team are a mix of software engineers, linguists and trademark experts. We spend most of our time on two things: the algorithm work and creating a user experience that reduces the built in complexity.  And we all share a passion for business names - trademarks or domain names.

Together we have built a new trademark search that is easy, accurate, fast and free.

The core: Accurate name similarity

Every year there are many thousand examples of trademark applications that didn’t survive because they were too similar to a registered trademark. Here are some of them:

New application: Registered trademark:
MTOWN MOTOWN
NAVIXEN NAVIREL
DILIPS PHILIPS
FLEROX FLOREX
PEX-FLEX FLEXPEX
HABIXIN HALISYN
KAMEX CHAMEX
POWERED BY PERVASIC PERVASIVE SOFTWARE

The entrepreneurs and brand name creators behind these and many thousand other applications didn’t just loose the registration fee. They all lost a lot of valuable time and some of them had to pull back a launch at great costs. Then they had to start a new name process - if they were still up to it . . .

But is it really that hard, to determine if two names are similar or not?

If you want to produce a very accurate search result, one that finds most potential “killers” (we call them that) without a lot of “noise”, then it is very hard. From the start we knew that if we were going to be useful to entrepreneurs, we couldn’t deliver search results with too much noise.

It took us in the team 1,5 year to build the core technology, the similarity algorithm. Endless hours spent on statistical tests and different tweaks. A long time but we think it paid off.

We think our search results are extremely accurate. We can today find the similar trademarks with much less noise than any other trademark search service we have seen. And we are constantly tuning and improving the similarity algorithm, so any feedback from you is very valuable to us.

What you should do

To get the most out of Markify you should follow these advices:

  1. Use our free trademark search early on in your name processes - to save time and avoid future conflicts. Don’t forget that you save at least $500 on every search!
  2. You should also use Markify to watch your business name or trademark. So sign up for the free trademark watch service and we will send you a weekly mail with all registrations similar to your name (you can watch any 5 names for free). This will save you $100 a year per name.
  3. If you are uncertain, spend your money instead on getting good advice from a trademark expert. We will provide links to some of them and get a small fee in return.

Business model? We are developing some great premium services that I’ll come back to.

Being a start-up we are very eager to hear your opinion. Mail me your thoughts (use my first name as mail address) or comment below.

Benoit Fallenius
Founder, CEO
Follow on twitter: benoitfallenius

Benoit Fallenius Founder and CEO

In this blog I will mostly write about two subjects:

1. Trademarks, domain names, naming and branding - Four separate areas that often are not that separate.

2. Markify news - Features, markets, pricing, challenges etc.

Feedback and questions are always welcome. Email me at benoit@markify.com.