Trademark research has always been a pivot point in the creation and registration of any brand. The necessity, both legal and commercial, to ensure your new creation is different from anything already out there is absolutely vital for your brand’s uniqueness, growth and success in the long run. Moreover, this becomes especially true, when we’re referring to image trademarks.
It is safe to say that a brand’s image is one of its most valuable possessions. It identifies it, it gathers its worth and it communicates its significance. In our world, the importance behind an image is so strong that nowadays up to 40% of registered trademarks contain them. However, the process to identify unique image trademarks that avoid infringement on others can be quite complicated and certainly not user friendly at all. Moreover, this is where technology jumps in, revolutionizing an industry in which more than 1,600 applications are filed every single day with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This is the future of trademark research.
How is trademark research going to change?
The trademark universe will be reshaped through technology, more specifically, through AI-powered image recognition software applying the principles of facial recognition. This avant-garde technology seems to have been the missing piece to make the trademark research puzzle simpler, faster, and much more accurate and easier to access. Thanks to this development, a simple click will be enough to compare the image you aim to register with previously registered artwork, images and even 3D design patents in order to determine whether it is acceptable, or if it infringes on an existing trademark. In just seconds, images all over the world can be reviewed and compared to yours, giving you a complete analysis of similarities your image might share.
This cutting-edge software has changed a process that up – until now – was not only complex but time consuming, into a more practical, accurate and accessible system that adjusts to the fast-paced world we live in. The ability to compare images with other actual images through facial recognition software gives the trademark research process a whole extra layer of rapidness and certainty. And it is a big step into the future that ensures the complex search queries that are needed nowadays will become simpler and more efficient.
What are we evolving from?
Currently trademark research queries analyze, organize and catalog images in two main ways: through keywords or through image codes. And even though when done by professionals, these two might be enough to do a thorough search, adding the extra image filter that will ensure faster and more efficient results. Both keywords and image codes can’t really define or categorize every single image out there nor classify customized shapes, or even really understand forms for what they aim to represent rather than what they are.
If we even add to this panorama the fact that image codes lack global standardization and that trademark office records for design marks tend to have coding errors, it becomes clear just how much advantage, in both time and accuracy, this new technology will bring to the research trademark world. Mainly in reducing the time of each search, upping its accuracy and avoiding the risk of not uncovering confusingly similar images.
What can we expect in the future?
The importance of this innovation is not just about the fact that it can speed up processes while still ensuring their accuracy, but rather the amount of opportunities it can enable. In a world where businesses file trademarks on a daily basis, making trademark research smoother and more straight forward seems like a natural step in order to simplify this process, augmenting opportunities and contributing to the development of new and improved methods that create brands with a strong and steady growth.
A simpler, more effective process will allow all businesses, regardless of their size, to enter the trademark research in a much more confident way, focusing both their time and monetary efforts into creating a strong and sustainable brand, rather than just an exhaustive trademark search. Brands will be able to grow safer, far from the risk of having to rebrand or even to reorient their strategy because of copycats, similar brands or simply an unfortunate trademark coincidence.
The future of trademarks is here, and it is without a doubt, time-efficient, thorough and more accessible. Once again, technology is the vehicle through which an industry is reinvented, and thanks to it we are closer to the world of tomorrow, a more effective and connected one.