WHY YOU NEED TO CONDUCT A TRADEMARK SEARCH
The motive behind initial trademark search is to reduce the number of opposition to trademarks registration proceedings. It is also important to conduct a search prior to launching a new brand/ product into the market. You do not want to be faced with law suits and court injunctions immediately after spending alot of money on the new brand because it is infringement of an existing trademark. Not long ago, Facebook was forced to pull down the business page of houzify.com after complaints of trademark infringement were made by houzz.com. At the time of it being pulled down, the Facebook page of houzify had close to 54000 followers. You don’t get such followers without effort. To get such a following on a new brand, you need to trip the effort that was used in promoting the brand that was pulled down.
Therefore, a simple trademark search with the relevant trademarks office and online prior to finalizing your trademark registration and launch of the new brand will save a lot in terms of money and time.
In Uganda, official fees for conducting a trademark search is Ug. Shs. 25,000/= for local companies and USD$65 for international trademarks/ trademarks of foreign companies/ individuals. In addition to searching trademark database of the trademark office, it is advisable to search the internet using google and other search engines to see if there is a remote possibility that any business is using the trademark similar to what you have decided to use.
All said, prevention is better than cure. It is better to spend considerable amount of time and energy on building the business and brand rather than to spend resources on fighting a case on the trademark infringements suits because you failed to do a simple trademark clearance search. A trademark clearance search should be the corner stone in the foundation for building a strong and long lasting trademark for a business.