Markify adds international WIPO trademarks to the free trademark search

Markify's trademark search engine just became a lot more global. We have added another 650.000 international trademarks to our trademark search engine.

All these trademarks come from the WIPO trademark database, sometimes called "ROMARIN". (WIPO is the United Nation's organization that administrates the Madrid system, through which you can get a trademark registration in approx. 80 countries.)

I think this means that Markify today is the world's only free trademark search engine that covers both the US (USPTO), EU (CTM/OHIM) and international (WIPO) trademarks.

A total of almost 4 million live trademarks, updated every 24 hours with 400.000 new marks per year.

We are also the only free trademark search that gives you a proper list of confusingly similar trademarks, where there could be a likelihood of confusion.

Some of the other providers try to do this with "fuzzy search". The problem with "fuzzy search" is that it is "fuzzy". It misses too much and gives you to much noise. A good similarity algorithm should not be "fuzzy" but very distinct, based on statistics.

We have based our algorithm on more that 10.000 actual cases where a government employee has said that these two trademarks are confusingly similar.

So now you can get the best trademark search results, including all classes, also for WIPO trademarks - for free.

Trademark attorneys should know that we have added the WIPO trademarks - without raising our price of $100 - in our premium products: US Comprehensive Trademark Search and EU Comprehensive Search.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups that uses our Trademark Registration should know that these Comprehensive Search reports are always included in our Trademark Registration service.

All our Trademark Watch and Monitor customers will now also be getting international WIPO results in their reports. At no additional cost.

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

Best tips to start-ups on trademark and new business name

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

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.

The 5 “No’s” to expect while
raising seed capital

Some call a “No” the next best thing to a “Yes” when you are fundraising. Part cliché, part true, in my opinion. Because a “No” is only valuable if you understand it. Otherwise it can be a huge time waster. And getting a clear and fast “No” from angels and VC’s is not always that easy.

Before we got a firm “Yes” we got our share of “No’s”. Here is my personal guide to the land of “No” when you are raising seed capital.

I have found basically five kinds of “No’s” - and I have come to truly respect two of them
and found ways to deal with the others:

1. The “No” in advance. This kind of “No” you get on angels’ and VC’s websites, in interviews and other sources like Quora and Formspring. Here are some examples:

  • “We never invest outside the US”
  • “We only invest in B2C”
  • “We have never invested in a company which hasn’t been referred to us by someone we trust.”

This is their strategy, and that must be their call. These people saved me a lot of time by stating their preferences. I respect that and will not bother them with my pitch if it doesn’t fit their criteria.

2. The silent “No”. At their website they encourage you to send your business plan. Then you  never hear from them. There is a fundamental communication problem here:

  • The angel/VC thinks that he is sending the signal: “We are flooded by deals and actually don’t have time to answer all, even if we would like to”.
  • But the entrepreneur might think that the signal is: “Your idea/team/plan is so bad that it is not even worth an answer”.

Waste of time for the entrepreneur and bad marketing for the angel/VC.

3. The clear and fast “No”. The angel/VC has looked at your start-up, maybe met you and quickly gives their reason for saying no. This will save you a lot of time and sometimes you get valuable input from their answer. Both parties build respect and network.

4. The slow “No”. It can sound like this: “This looks very interesting but we would like to see this, this, this and that.” When you are raising seed capital you just don’t have the time or resources to do too much else than focus on your core development. Unfortunately not all investors understand and respect this. To understand when you are wasting your time is key in this process.

5. The “Yes” that is really a “No”. It can sound like: “Yes, we are very interested, but not right now because we are so busy.Can you come back in two months?” Keep you hopes down when you start hearing the phrase “not right now”.

So here is an appell to all angels and VC’s, who I know really care for entrepreneurs and start-ups:
A. State selection criteria - On your website or wherever a search engine can find it, state your true first selection criteria,  typically: Location, Sectors, Referrals, Stages, or whatever selection model you are using. This will save you and the entrepreneur lots of time.
B. Deliver your “No” answers clear and fast - It will give you respect in the entrepreneur community and bring you valuable business in the long run.

Blog and news the last years.

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