Before you file a national or international trademark application, it’s important to search for existing and pending trademarks in your target markets. This will help you to uncover trademarks that are similar or identical to yours, and therefore to make an informed decision about your application strategy.
Warning! If your trademark infringes on the rights of another person or company, you may not be able to register it.
Global Brand Database
You can use WIPO's Global Brand Database to sieve through trademarks from multiple national and international databases.
With more than 50 million records from over 70 databases (including those registered through the Madrid System), this is the perfect place to start your searches!
Find out more about the Global Brand Database
National/regional trademark registers
It’s also a good idea to search directly in national/regional trademark registers. The Global Brand Database does not for example include trademarks filed directly with some intellectual property (IP) Offices of Madrid System members . Warning! These registers may only be available in national languages.
Use our Madrid System Member Profiles to locate contact information and websites of IP Offices of Madrid System members.
What happens if you uncover a similar or identical trademark in your target market(s)?
All is not lost! If that trademark is for unrelated goods and/or services or the application has lapsed/registration has expired, you may proceed with your application.
Even if it relates to the same, or similar, goods and/or services, you can proceed but you may receive a provisional refusal from the IP Office of the designated member in question!
Note: There are a number of ways to overcome this type of refusal, but you may need the help of a local representative.
Important! If you need pre-filing search assistance – or advice on strategies to avoid conflicts with existing trademarks – you should consult a trademark attorney or agent. National/regional IP Offices generally maintain lists of registered attorneys and agents. Find IP Office contact details in our Madrid System Member Profiles database.