A word or mark that distinguishes your goods/services from the goods / services of others is considered a trademark and may be registered for protection. To avoid infringing on someone else’s trademark, you need to search for similar trademarks that have already been registered, but there is no single website or database to do an international trademark search. Here are the relevant websites for trademark searches:
United States Trademark Search
Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) allows you to search the USPTO’s database of registered trademarks and prior pending applications to find marks that may prevent registration. http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4807:59nv08.1.1
European Trademark Search
EU trademarks are registered at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and a single registration covers all 28 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/
South African Trademark Search
The CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) office provides an esearch website database of registered trademarks in South Africa. http://www.cipc.co.za/za/
ARIPO Trademark Search (Africa)
The ARIPO online services provides a database of all registered trademarks from all ARIPO member states which include: Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. https://eservice.aripo.org/pmi/PMIMain.do
Australian Trademark On-line Search System
The Australian Trade Mark On-line Search System (ATMOSS) office provides an electronic database of registered trademarks in Australia. Separate searches need to be performed to find trademarks in the New Zealand database.
China Trademark Search
The China Patent & Trademark Office website provides a database of all registered trademarks in the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong currently has a separate legal system and local registrations are necessary.
More information regarding Trade Marks:
Trade Mark a color in South Africa – The South African Trade Marks Act specifically provides for the registration of non-conventional trade marks, such as colors. A mark is defined as any sign capable of being represented graphically including, shapes…
Trade Mark Search – It is always advisable that the trade mark be searched before the application is made. In order to be considered register-able, your trade mark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of your competitors…
Trade Mark Requirements – It serves the purpose of distinguishing the goods/services of one trader from those of another trader. It does not consist exclusively of a sign or an indication which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended…
Trade Mark Application Requirements – We would require you to provide us with a copy of your intended trademark – be it a simple name or slogan, or a stylised logo. We would also require details of all products or services that you intend…
Trade Mark Exclusions – Marks that may NOT be Registered: Emblems fall under the protection of the Merchandise Marks Act. The following are regarded as state emblems: Seal of the Republic, Coat of Arms of the Republic…
Trade Mark Costs – Contact us to request prices for trade mark searches, applications, renewals and trade mark assignments….
International Trade Mark Protection – Your mark should be registered in the countries in which you offer your products or services under that mark. You should also consider filing in countries where you intend to use the mark in the future…
Trade Mark Protection in South Africa – A trade mark is a mark which distinguishes your goods or services from goods or services of others in South Africa, or elsewhere. Trade Marks are register-able in terms of the South African Trade Marks…