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.

Benoit Fallenius

Founder, CEO

Follow on twitter: benoitfallenius

Blog and news the last years.

The new tool for trademark professionals