Case study: free trademark search in Russia

Back in August 2009 we introduced an optional service – free trademark search in Russia. My opinion on what free search is good for is known and well worded directly at the page we offer the service at.

Since August we received only one inquiry for free search in Russian trademarks (as compared to tens of inquiries for regular Russian trademark search) – and results of the free search only cemented my opinion that free trademark search in Russia being total and complete waste of time and totally misleading.

Here is the story – rather short, and structured in the table for your convinience.

  Client: Patents from RU:

My employer has asked me to determine whether we will be able to trademark our company & product name, OurCompanyProduct, in the Russian Federation.

On your web page at, you offer to search the Russian trademark database for exact matches for free. Please do a search for this word – "OurCompanyProduct".

No problem. We received the inquiry on 9 pm and delivered the trademark search report on 10 pm, which included results obtained by exact match and fuzzy search on the word. We carried out the search only in registered trademarks.

Results: No exact matches were found.

2 The boss just authorized a $150 charge for the "real" search to determine if we have a clear shot at "OurCompanyProduct" in the Russian Federation.

OK. So we did regular trademark search which included also Russian trademark applications.

Results: Exact match found (more to this – exactly in the class the client was most interested in) in a Russian trademark application filed 9 months ago.

So, effectively, a $150 search saved out client US$735 in filing fees – cause if they’d file just based on the results of the free search, Russian Patent and Trademark Office would turn the application down due to the fact that confusingly similar application was already filed.

But that’s not all – now, the most intriguing part of the story…I wondered what company happened to file an application for exactly the same word in exactly the same class? I googled the company’s name (say, THECOMPANY LLC) up and found out that domain in the email address my client sent the inquiry from had been registered in the name of…THECOMPANY LLC.

Anyways, as my client mentioned in his followup email, all’s well that ends well.

Source: Russian patents blog

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