Investigate any copyright and trademark infringements
by Levi Leyba

Read the previous lesson 05 article here.

At the same time that I secured a domain name, I was also being cautiously aware of whether or not the name that I choose was already being used by another business.  This business can be in a completely different industry or in the same, I just wanted to see if anyone else was using Knappd.  After some searching on Google, I was able to only get a few hits on the word ‘knappd’ including one use as as a directory on a school website.  Going further, there’s no mention of the word ‘knappd’ on their website and think that this may have been a coincidence or was perhaps a teacher or faculty member name.

Another hit I came across was what looked to be an attempt to start a social connection for the Android market.  It looked as though they originally owned or was looking to own the domain that I purchased last week because they are displaying the domain in their unused Twitter page with absolutely no tweets.  I’ll dig into this at a later time if I decide I want to still use that Twitter handle and attempt to get it for my use.

Another reference to the term ‘knappd’ came from FlightAware.  They are actually a site that I have been to before to track flights. Apparently there’s a user named Darrell Knapp that has that directory on their site, so it populated on Google’s search results.  Nothing to be concerned about here, so off I go to search some trademarks from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The USPTO offers a free search of their trademark database which comes in handy, especially on the weekends and after hours.  Their system is called Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) that includes not only the text of trademarks but also images of registered marks and marks in pending and abandoned applications.  Now, this can get confusing because they offer three search options right off the bat. The first is a Basic Word Mark Search (New User), the second is a Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured), and the third is a Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form).  To help us out, the USPTO offers TESS Tips that helps us understand (1) what the database includes; (2) how to construct a complete search; and (3) how to interpret the results.  Click here for TESS Tips.

TESS SearchFor this search, I’m going to use the Basic Word Mark Search (New User) for the term ‘knappd’ to see if there’s some person or organization that is using this word.  After searching I found that there was no TESS records found to match the criteria of my query.  Just to be sure, I clicked the back button (the only way to get back to the screen where you were at before) and tried all the options for the field to include ‘Combined Word Mark (BI, TI, MP, TL)’, ‘Serial or Registration Number’, ‘Owner Name and Address’, and ‘All” –despite ‘All” doing this for me I wanted to be extra, super-duper sure that the name was not being used.

 TESS No Results

Feeling confident that the name Knappd is not being used anywhere that may cause for future complications is a relief. Despite there being social media accounts created with the term, I can either see if I can get those accounts or I can get creative with the name and get one that is not taken.  Other than the domain being owned by someone in the past, the fact that they let it go and their social media account is not being used, I can assume that they have given up on their quest to launch a business using this term.  The plus is I own the .com domain extension, which is always a preference to the .net.

The next post that you will see will be inside the Planning for Success with Your White Label Business—Chapter 3 Session: Outline your white label business plan (business plan or no business plan) – Lesson 07.

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Till next time Biz Army…


What’s In My MP3: I’m continuing to re-listen to The 4-Hour Workweek audiobook on my trail runs and am making mental notes on perhaps I should try out hiring a virtual assistant.  This would free up some much needed time.

Click here to check out Audible by Amazon.