How to register a name as a Trademark

How do I check if my name is still available? Does everyone have to do a trademark search? Can I use my name idea at all? How do I protect my name? We have compiled all the information you need on the subject of trademark law and trademark protection. You will also find professional support for your trademark examination, trademark search, and trademark application.

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Trademark Basics and Trademark Protection

You've already made progress with your name search and have collected one or more promising name ideas? Then now it's time to check which ideas can actually be used. Even if you'd prefer to move on to logo design right away or announce your name everywhere: Before using your name officially - be it for your company, a business project, an association, a blog or anything else - you have to make sure that you are allowed to use it.

Maybe you've already checked a few name ideas in a search engine and found out that someone has already come up with the same names before you. Or you're lucky and the result looks great at first glance. That's great - but it's still not enough of a test, and it would be pretty negligent to stop at this point. Even if you are not aiming for trademark protection or are "only" planning a small or regional offer, you have to take care of a thorough name check. Otherwise, in the worst case, you could end up like the German basketball club "Blue Bulls" or the Frankfurt burger joint "Good Bull". Both were successfully sued by the Red Bull company for being too similar to their own brand and had to rename themselves in the end. So you'd better save yourself the trouble!

Prepare well - and then go to the trademark attorney

You can contact an intellectual property lawyer directly (also known as a "trademark lawyer"). We recommend one of the specialists on the right under "Top Partners". Advisors at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or in business incubators can also be the first point of contact. However, it makes little sense to show up there with a list of 10 name ideas. After all, every professional name check costs money and time. Therefore, it is better to go to the expert with only a small top selection of names. Ideally, you will have already researched these three to five names in advance, thus significantly increasing the chances that one of your favorite names will actually get the green light in the end.

Do I need a trademark attorney to register a trademark? It is definitely advisable to seek advice from a professional here. Even though you can file online on your own, there are some pitfalls to filing a trademark application that you may not be aware of as a layperson.

If you go to the lawyer with unchecked names and he advises you not to use them, you will have to submit further ideas and have them checked again. Of course, this costs money each time. But even if money is not an issue, this is quite time-consuming and nerve-wracking - that is certainly not efficient. Therefore, before you go to a specialist, enter your company in the commercial register or apply for a trademark, check your favorite name(s) thoroughly in advance. This is not witchcraft, as long as you pay attention to a few things.

How do I check my business name on my own?

A little pre-check on your own is no big deal and helps you to find out if your name is already obviously protected or in use. Just go to the Name Control Center of the NameRobot Toolbox (login required) and send your name(s) through all the check tools. Alternatively, you can call the individual tools like domain check or trademark check separately and without having to register, though less comfortable.

Pro Tip

Even if you don't want to protect your company or product name as a trademark, you should still check your name before you use it! Even if you "only" want to use the name as a domain, for a blog or for social media, you must not infringe any rights to the name. You are responsible for this research yourself, neither the Trade Office nor the Patent and Trademark Office will do it for you!

What do I have to pay attention to during the trademark search?

We can tell you a few helpful tricks for your trademark searches. To start your name check, however, it makes sense to briefly start the other tools in the Control Center (see above) as the search engine check. So you will find out very quickly if a name idea is obviousely not usable. For example, you may come across an occupied domain and see after a click that the name is already used by a competitor. You can then cross such names off your list right away before you start your trademark search which is a little more ambitious.



For the trademark search, you can either search the trademark registers of many countries like the United States Patent and Trademark Office directly online. Please note, that the search masks of the trademark offices are not always easy to use, so it takes a while to get used to them. Alternatively, you can use our trademark checking tool, which we have designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible.

The advantages of a trademark application

A trademark can have a high value because it is like a "patent" on a name. What do you get out of it, specifically?

  • If your name is protected as a trademark, no one else may use it in the future for the same goods/services.
  • A brand is the best protection against imitators.
  • With a trademark, you show that your business is "serious" and not just a hobby.
  • You may put such a fancy ® behind your name in the future.
  • Your customers associate a brand with higher quality or professionalism.
  • Ultimately, a brand creates trust.
  • Under a brand, you can offer goods and services at higher prices.
  • You can even grant licenses to other companies later on.

The tool also helps you to find trademarks that are not 100% identical to your name. For example, if you enter "yodel", the trademark check will also find the trademark "yodeler". You can now look at all these hits one after the other and check if they are protected for goods or services similar to what you have in mind. In the settings of the tool you have the possibility to filter by countries and "Nice Classes", in which all possible goods and services are grouped.

A trademark can be protected in 45 different classes of goods and services, the so-called "Nice Classes". With each trademark application, it must be determined for which goods and/or services the trademark is to be registered.

Off to the trademark lawyer

If you have not found any serious trademarks and other offers on the Internet that speak against your name, you are well prepared to contact a professional in the field of trademark law now. Don't worry: many lawyers offer fair package prices for all trademark-related consultations that even a founder can afford. On the right side, you can read about our recommendations for trademark law firms.

Top Partners Trademark Law

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