The trademark industry is in massive upheaval at present, with many years of the same still in front of us. Since 2012 we have seen laws being changed constantly, then implemented, usually with very little advance warning, resulting in the following:
- Price hikes all over the world (Mexico, Thailand, USA, EU)...some of them being applied retroactively (Kuwait, Bahrain)...sometimes several increases in the same year in the same country (Saudi Arabia) and the ones we can expect soon (Canada, Bangladesh, Saudi, Singapore).
- Electronic systems are being put into place, resulting in the inevitable learning curve, new class codes, unreliable search engines, and other process glitches (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Canada).
- Additional documentation requirements are being put into place (China, Saudi Arabia, West Bank, USA)
TMView is the increasingly exciting “worldwide trademark database”. TMView has been around now for several years, but until January 2017 was only minimally useful and only occasionally available.
Finally fulfilling its promised potential, in the last 2 months the TMView has turned into a valuable tool. The closest thing we have to a “worldwide trademark database”, the TMView has become increasingly reliable, providing more & better international trademark data with an increasing number of search options. I have recently included the TMView worldwide trademark search engine as one of my regular search sources for any country.
It is the joint creation of the 5 largest trademark offices in the world (TM5), consisting of: USA, Japan, South Korea, EUIPO, and China. There was rapid membership growth in 2016 resulting in a current total of over 50 countries as we enter 2017:
- Malaysia and Cambodia joined in December 2016
- Georgia & Albania joined in July 2016
- Brazil joined in February 2016
- Hungary continues to try to join into 2017
Even WIPO applications were added in September 19, 2016, although I was still fighting to properly access those records just before Christmas...and again last week.
The TMView is still very much a work in progress, but it is evident that eventually this single global search tool can and will be used by global trademark managers to increase their own knowledge and control of their worldwide trademark portfolios without increasing costs.
The world continues to become much smaller commercially, as brands move globally through the Internet, with your without their owners’ permission. The TMView is a great (free) tool to use in taking that first step towards expanding your brand internationally. There is no substitute, however, for an experienced international trademark searcher, especially in these turbulent, evolving times.