3 Smart Ways To Clear Your Brand Name

Gökçen Uzer Çengelci,

Did you know almost 4.57 billion people are active Internet users today? A myriad of mobile apps that enable users to create and share content have been part of our daily lives for a long time. And, needless to say, these powerful social media tools also enable both people and businesses to network online. Now, more than ever, brands require content performance across owned and earned media to create broad reach and maintain engagement with their audiences.

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But are we really aware of what we are actually affirming when we tap “like” when on social media? Is the life we see really as perfect as it is presented or is it just an illusion? And my last question to you is: have you heard of Louise Delage?

Who is Louise Delage?

No-one. ‘Louise’ actually never existed. She is the figment of a unique marketing project and brand campaign. In 2016, Addict Aide, a French organization that fights against addiction created a French socialite and ‘IT’ girl called Louise Delage who had all the prerequisites and attributes to generate likes: style, wealth, liberty, youth and glamor. Not all of her followers noticed, but she was filmed holding a glass of alcohol in every single image of her posted online.

Aim of the brand campaign

An actress was employed by Addict Aide to play Louise Delage as part of an Instagram campaign. Her account was created by the brand campaign owner with the sole aim of generating a wider awareness of alcohol addiction.

The fictional online persona was a huge success for Addict Aide and Louise captured the attention of the media all around the world – peaking as a trending topic on Twitter in France – and resulted in a significant boost in traffic to Addict Aide’s website (Louise’s Instagram account still has some 67 thousand followers today!)

The need to run a clearance search for your brand name

Needless to say, when executed correctly, digital marketing can really help to boost brand awareness and engagement. But what if your intended trademark has already been used for digital marketing purposes in social media by a third party brand campaign owner?

Even if the campaign owner has not actually registered, or applied to register, the sign as a trademark, the registrability of your own sign in that particular territory might be affected. This is because the consumer might directly relate your sign with a previously well-known brand campaign. In this case your own sign may no longer be able to indicate the source origin and your trademark application could fail on grounds of a lack of distinctiveness.

Clearance check on trademark applications - is it enough?

One way to overcome this risk is to run a preliminary knockout search to see whether any particular marketing campaign was also subjected to a trademark application by the campaign owner. However in most cases digital marketing assets, such as trending hashtags, are not subjected to trademark application and so will not come up in your trademark screening search. And, so you will need a more powerful trademark clearance tool!

Our AI trademark clearance search tool NameCheck also provides comprehensive risk analysis on social media. NameCheck finds any relevant Internet information related to your brand candidate. These results are shown within a separate Internet Results Tab in your search results.

3 smart ways to clear your brand candidate

There are three subsections of our Internet Results Tab in NameCheck, giving you search results in the following areas:

  • Internet domains
  • Web search
  • Social media

1. Internet domains

The Internet Domains section includes availability and registration information in relation to your clearance search within ALL 1400+ current Top Level Domains, including the new Country Code and Generic Top Level Domains from ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Clicking any registered domain brings up all known information on that registration, including (where available) the creation and expiration dates; the Registrant’s name, address and contact information; the Registrar; and a hyperlink to the active URL.


2. Web search

The Web Search function delivers a rapid Google search for your candidate name, with a slightly different layout.

It is also important to note that your search on Google from the TrademarkNow platform is completely anonymous and private, so the results may not be the same as those you might see if you Google them from your own browser.


3. Social media

The Social Media Tab in NameCheck delivers usernames and handles that are identical or similar to your candidate trademark, on several common social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and TikTok).

Your results are presented in order of descending relevance, typically starting from the social media accounts with the most followers.

And, links to the relevant social media pages are automatically included for you where available.

Final thoughts

Using NameCheck to search Internet results for your trademark candidate is a much more practical way to see social media and web search results for all users. It is the smarter way to organize your clearance search results into a brand candidate during any trademark clearance process.

And, being able to download related trademark clearance reports will also significantly ease the working life of attorneys, in particular for clearance searches where the use risk is separately addressed.

And, don’t forget - what you “like” on social media may only show a small part of the whole picture!

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