A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these things that identifies as someone’s goods or services. If you are doing a print-on-demand side hustle, where creativity meets business, learning how to check for trademarked content is critical in the business.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of checking for trademarked content, equipping you with the knowledge needed to create unique, original, and legally compliant designs.
Simply, it’s something owned, so you can’t use it freely. This is why you need to know what you are allowed to use and what not.
Importance of Having a Trademark
Having a trademark is of paramount importance for individuals, businesses, and organizations alike. Trademarks are a form of intellectual property protection that provide various benefits and safeguards, making them an essential asset in today’s competitive and dynamic market.
A trademark serves as the face of your brand. It’s the symbol, word, phrase, design, or combination thereof that distinguishes your products or services from those of others. It helps in building a unique identity and establishing brand recognition in the minds of consumers.
A strong trademark helps build trust and credibility with consumers. When people see a familiar and reputable trademark associated with a product or service, they are more likely to choose it over alternatives. This trust is built over time through consistent quality and positive experiences.
Registering a trademark provides legal protection against unauthorized use by others. It gives you exclusive rights to use the trademark for the goods or services it covers, and it allows you to take legal action against those who attempt to infringe upon your rights.
A well-recognized trademark can help position your brand in the market. It can convey your brand’s values, mission, and unique selling points, enabling you to differentiate yourself from competitors and attract your target audience effectively.
Trademarks can be valuable assets for your business. As your brand gains recognition and reputation, the value of your trademark increases. This can be advantageous for potential investors, partners, or buyers who see the value in your established brand.
If you plan to expand your business internationally, having a registered trademark can facilitate this process. It provides protection in different countries and prevents others from using your mark in regions where you operate.
Prevention of Confusion
Trademarks help prevent consumer confusion by ensuring that your brand is distinct from others in the market. This clarity is essential to maintain a loyal customer base and prevent dilution of your brand’s uniqueness.
Deterrent to Infringement
A registered trademark acts as a deterrent to potential infringers. They are less likely to use a trademark that they know is legally protected, reducing the risk of costly legal disputes.
Marketing and Advertising
Trademarks can be powerful tools in marketing and advertising campaigns. A memorable and distinctive trademark can make your products or services more memorable and easily recognizable in various promotional materials.
Registering a trademark is an investment in the long-term success of your brand. As your business grows, the trademark’s value and recognition also grow, contributing to your overall business stability and sustainability.
Best Method to Check for Trademarked Content
Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just starting, understanding how to navigate trademarked content is essential for success in the print-on-demand industry.
Method No. 1 — The best one
This is the best one you could do to check for trademarks.
- To get started, all you need is to go to uspto.gov and click on Search our trademark database (TESS).
2. After you click it will redirect you to this page and you’ll select the first option.
3. Now enter your phrase in the new search bar and click submit a query.
4. If nothing appears like in the photo, then you’re good.
5. But If something appears, like this, then it’s trademarked.
This is both easy and effective, but I like to couple it with the next method.
Method No. 2 — Simple Google search
When you search let’s say, Nimona on Google (Nimona was and I think still is a growing trademarked niche on Redbubble), you can see something pops even before searching.
Using this method can narrow even further the time spent checking for trademarks.
I like to do this first, then If nothing shows up do the first method.
Sometimes you can find niches that are related to not well-known musical bands or movies or other things that show up on a Google search.
Method No. 3 — Trademarkia
Trademarkia is like the first site I presented in method one.
But I don’t like it because after a search it shows all the registered phrases or words that are trademarked and related to what you searched.
Not actually what you searched for.
It is still effective, but I find it slower than the first one and not on point.
These are the methods I rely on when doing my niche research.
I still have one more way of checking, which I explained in depth in my second post from my series about making money with Redbubble.
A Must for Business Owner
Having a trademark offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to your brand’s identity, protection, and success. It’s a strategic asset that helps you stand out in the marketplace, establish trust with consumers, and safeguard your brand from infringement. Whether you’re an individual entrepreneur or a multinational corporation, securing a trademark should be a crucial aspect of your business strategy.