Anatomy of a Marksmen Trademark Use Investigation

So you hit a stumbling block on the road to registration. Does a mark predate yours? How is this being used in commerce? Does it even exist anymore? You’re on the clock and you need help – and you decide to call Marksmen. Here’s how it works:


First, let’s chat to make sure we completely get the context and understand exactly what you’d like to know. But before we pull on the gumshoes, we hope you’ll provide any research you may have already done on the subject — that way we won’t spend valuable time repeating. We’ll double check, perhaps dive a bit deeper or even go another direction.


If you’ll excuse the pun, Marksmen has a quiver full of resources and tools that we cull through with trained IP PI eyes. Business directories and public records help ensure that the target is the real target, how long they’ve been around, the kind of goods and services they provide and where. We visit the entity’s website, social media accounts, and archived websites for clues the current version may not provide. We also check news resources for current and archived published materials as well as other websites that may provide insight, taking screenshots of anything relevant – all masked of course.


A note on “pretexting” – or calling the target entity under pretext – while it is a valuable asset, we make sure that we stay on the ETHICAL side of the line. We understand the boundaries and we abide by them. And we don’t just start dialing willy-nilly. We track down someone within the entity who would likely have the information you’re looking for and ask the questions that you would if you could. Then we try to get a corroborating opinion from someone else within the company.


When we feel strongly that we’ve answered the questions about use of the mark, we wrap it up in a detailed, readable report that provides an executive summary of the investigation, the details of how we acquired the information and a conclusion based on the case facts that have been revealed. We get that to you in 4 business days (unless you’re in a hurry) at a domestic flat rate of 500 bucks.


Any questions? The intellectual property experts at Marksmen are available to help with everything from trademark use investigations in the United States to anti-counterfeiting in China and domain name acquisitions around the globe. Marksmen investigates, patrols and negotiates IP rights worldwide.