1. Perform a Business Name Search
Go to your Secretary of State’s website to perform a business name search. Search “Name Availability” to check whether the business name you are considering has already been registered in your state. When you have your business name registered in your state and a logo design completed, consider registering for a trademark at www.uspto.gov to protect your investment. The site provides a Trademark Electronic Search System database to make sure another company hasn’t already registered an identical or similar mark for the same categories of goods or services you offer. The site provides a wealth of information for starting a new business.
2. Perform a Google Reverse Image Search
If you develop a logo for your new business and want to perform a basic check that it is not infringing on the logo of another business, do a reverse image search at images.google.com. Option 1: Drag and drop the image file from your desktop into the search bar. Option 2: Click on “Search by Image” and paste the image’s URL. Option 3: If you want to review an image’s origin, such as a logo or image on a website, perform a search on Google Chrome. Right click on the image and scroll down to “Search Google for Image.” Google will provide a sampling of visually similar images to review.
3. Search on WIPO
Perform a search on the World Intellectual Property Organization website at www.wipo.int. Access the Global Brand Database under the Knowledge tab to research whether a name or trademark similar or identical to yours already exists and has been registered as intellectual property. Save the investment of time and resources into developing a business name and logo design if there is any potential for infringement.
When starting a new business venture, budget for an intellectual property lawyer to assist you in the process of protecting your business name and logo – they can help you protect these valuable assets. It’s a good investment in your peace of mind, and helps you to avoid future dispute resolutions or liabilities if your business name or logo infringes on that of another business.