Information About Brand Clearance Searches
Prior to filing a trade mark application or commencing use of the brand the subject of the application we recommend conducting clearance searches. This helps to identify any existing trade marks that may be similar to the brand you want to use. An existing trade mark (registered or unregistered) that is similar to your proposed brand may affect the right to register and/or use the brand. It is therefore best to identify any conflicting rights before filing a trade mark application or commencing use of the brand.
See below for information about our basic searches, comprehensive searches, international searches and global searches.
Also see our publication on choosing a brand.
Basic Clearance Searches
Our basic clearance searches involve searches of the Trade Marks Register (of New Zealand and/or Australia, depending on your preference) for trade marks that are identical with, or similar to, your proposed brand.
Our report will provide information about any potentially conflicting marks on the Register, that may affect your ability to register and/or use your proposed brand. We will also provide advice about whether your proposed brand is sufficiently distinctive for registration as a trade mark (see our publication on choosing a brand).
Comprehensive Clearance Searches
Basic searches for registered rights only identify existing registered or pending trade marks that may directly affect registration or use of your brand.
Our comprehensive clearance searches also include searches for unregistered rights. As well as searching the Trade Marks Register (of New Zealand and/or Australia, depending on your preference), we also conduct searches of the Internet, company and business name registers, domain name databases, telephone directories and various other directories and databases. These additional searches help to identify unregistered rights that may impede use of your brand.
If you are planning on using your brand outside of New Zealand and Australia, we can conduct searches of the Trade Marks Registers of the countries of interest to you.
We conduct searches of the Trade Marks Registers of the European Union, United Kingdom or the United States for trade marks that are identical with, or similar to, your proposed brand. For any other countries of interest, contact us for a quote.
If you are planning on using your brand in a number of different countries we can conduct "knock-out" searches of the Trade Marks Registers of the following countries to identify any identical or phonetically similar trade marks that may affect your ability to use or register your brand in those countries:
Asia and Pacific: Australia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Vietnam
Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg), Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, European Community (CTM), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, World Intellectual Property Organisation
North America: Canada, Mexico, United States
Central and South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Middle East and Africa: African Intellectual Property Organisation, African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Oman, Qatar, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank, Yemen
Caribbean: Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Curacao, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Sint Maarten (Dutch)