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Since we started Markify six years ago our aim has been to build and improve the world's best trademark search algorithm. Finding all potential conflicts but with as little noise as possible.
Now we are releasing our next step in that work - our statistical Risk analysis.
The ranking of our results is based on a statistical analysis of more than 10.000 official cases of confusingly similar trademarks in the EU or the US. These come from OHIM decision and from USPTO 2(d) citations and TTAB decisions.
The main difference between these two sources are the number of languages they handle. While the USPTO largely concentrate on English, and Spanish to some extent, the OHIM/CTM decisions handles 28 countries, all with a mix of languages.
Instead of showing the individual risk level for every result, we have gouped the results in four "Risk level" groups. Each level indicate statistically how big risk there is that you will find a potential conflict in this group.
Level 1 - Very high risk.
Of all conflicts in Europe or the US, 20% have these types of similarities.
This group of results typically stands for less than 1% of the total amount of results.
Level 2 - High risk.
Of all conflicts in Europe or the US, 40% have these types of similarities.
This group of results typically stands for only 5% of the total amount of results.
Level 3 - Medium risk.
Of all conflicts in Europe or the US, 25% have these types of similarities.
This group of results typically stand for 20% of the total amount of results.
Level 4 - Low risk.
Of all conflicts in Europe or the US, 15% have these types of similarities.
This group of results typically stands for 75% of the total amount of results.
As you can see above, the lower the risk, the longer the result list. The last group of results contain 75% of all results, but with only 15% of the potential conflicts.
This is frustrating for us developing the algorithm and for our clients, who have to analyze all results. Just think how much easier trademark clearance work would be if you could just skip Level 4. But unfortunately there are so many conflict cases in this group that you cannot neglect it.
However, in some cases I know that the attorney does skip the lower part of the results list. This is often the case when he wants to save time and money for the client and maybe when the client feel that an opposition is not the end of the world.
For other clients, with a marketing start in the near future, that would not be an option. They would not want to risk the first six months of marketing investments...
Risk levels are currently not included in downloaded reports. Our thinking is that most of our clients' clients will not understand the meaning of "risk". It is just there in the online report to make your job faster and easier.
Please send me your feedback at email@example.com.
The Markify Comprehensive Search Algorithm finds more than 99% of potential conflicts, but does it with a total number of results that on average is 50% lower than comparable reports (Full /Comprehensive reports) done by other providers.
In an interview with ArcticStartup I was asked to come up with my best tips to start-ups regarding trademark and their new business name:
1. Choose a name that can be trademarked.
Why? You will avoid conflicts, enable expansion and sleep better. There are two basic requirements on your new trademark:
a) It should not be generic in your business area. The name "CoolApps" is generic if you're going to deliver a new marketplace for apps.
b) No one else should be using a "confusingly similar" trademark in your potential markets. Start your search at markify.com for confusingly similar marks. Avoid all similar marks that are in your line of business. If you are uncertain, contact a trademark attorney.
2. Buy all relevant domain names.
a) For most international start-ups that means a .com. Don't only look for available domain names. Even if the domain name is taken, it often is for sale. Average prices for domain names at auctions are $500
b) Buy 5-10 typos.
c) Buy at least 5-10 country extensions (ccTLDs). Choose the biggest markets where you think you may expand.
3. Register the trademark in your primary market.
In Europe choose the Pan-European CTM trademark, which covers 27 EU countries for a fee of 850 Euros.
In the US a USPTO trademark costs $325.
4. Watch and protect your trademark.
If there is a new confusingly similar application you should act upon it. So sign up for a free trademark watch at Markify.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you think I can help
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.