Trademark.com: A New Alternative for Trademark Searchers

Article excerpt

CorporateIntelligence.com (http://www.corporateintelligence.com), a division of Information Holdings, Inc., has announced the launch of a Web-based trademark database service. Targeted at trademark attorneys, in-house counsel, research and development professionals, and small businesses, it will offer a comprehensive set of databases covering U.S. federal and state trademarks along with over 800,000 "common law" trademarks. Integration of common law trademark information with official trademark files will, according to a CorporateIntelligence.com representative, represent a first-time availability on the Web. The new service also promotes a different pricing scheme from that of established trademark-data provider Thomson and Thomson (http://www.thomson-thomson.com). For federal trademarks only, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO; http://www.uspto.gov) has introduced the Trademark Electronic Search System, which is available at no charge.

Files on Trademark.com will cover federal trademark registrations and those for all 50 states. It includes all pending U.S. federal trademark applications and all active registrations since 1884. The system also carries 15 years of inactive records. By June, the company plans to inaugurate international trademark coverage, starting with Canada and the U.K., according to Lynn Tellefsen, vice president of marketing at CorporateIntelligence.com. Data for Trademark.com comes from CorporateIntelligence.com's subsidiaries MicroPatent, Faxpat, Optipat, 1790.com, and Master Data Center. The new Web service integrates common law trademarks--those established by long practice but not necessarily officially registered. Trademark.com may someday replace MicroPatent's Mark-Search Pro service, which according to Tellefsen offers $50 daylong subscriptions for unlimited searching.

The new service will update three times a week and access the USPTO's 24-hour box application information. The system has a Class Lookup tool for searchers starting a search, and users can arrange single or multi-database access. The databases integrate sound-alike and look-alike trademarks, as well as other machine-generated links between records, such as the elimination of punctuation or singular/plural problems. However, according to Tellefsen, their data don't use human indexing.

The 800,000 trademarks in the initial common law file come from brand and company names. More are being added all the time, including domain names. In time the company hopes to expand coverage into specific industry collections. When that happens, Tellefsen expects searchers would start a search in a fundamental collection and then move on to common law terms used in specific industries. Thomson and Thomson's Saegis service recently introduced a Pharma In-Use service that verifies trademark usage for pharmaceutical and healthcare products and services in 60 countries.

As an introductory offer, Trademark.com will charge $85 for a 4-hour session. Tellefsen said this pricing should continue for up to 60 days. After that, the price "will not go past $125." By the way, Tellefsen assured us that if a searcher accidentally had a power outage or broken line connection in the middle of a session, Trademark.com would be very understanding. Just a call would take care of the billing problem.

In contrast, the standard pricing for Thomson and Thomson's Saegis trademark service runs 5 cents per simple trademark image and $2. …

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