TM TKO is proud to announce a sweeping new round of innovations in its automated, in-depth clearance tool. These improvements focus on goods-and-services comparisons.
First, we have added an entirely new way of comparing key concepts between different types of products and services. Driven by leading-edge artificial intelligence, these comparisons better cut through the noise to highlight risks across classes.
Second, there is a dramatically improved classifier. In the enhanced goods and services selector tool, you will see class information and whether the description is in the USPTO’s Trademark ID Manual, helping you select the best and most accurate set of descriptions for your search.
You will see benefits from the new classifier in substantive search outcomes, too. Newly filed applications with incorrect classifications will take into account both the applicant-assigned class and the “correct” class from the classifier, upping scoring accuracy and search quality on even accidentally or intentionally misfiled applications. You will see similar benefits in the scoring of older registrations where the “correct” classification for the relevant goods or services has changed since the registration date.
How will these changes impact the appearance of your report? The most conceptually-related goods or services will score substantially higher than before in the table of most reports. You will also see these results visualized further to the right in your results scatterplot.
Finally, we are retiring the “retail” and “software” tabs in the goods-and-services selector for the Knockout tool. Now, a search for a mark for services like “retail shoe store services” will do an excellent job highlighting related products and services without the need for either the old retail tab or putting in multiple descriptions of goods or services. We have already updated existing searches and watches that used those tabs to appropriately take advantage of the new methodology; you won’t need to do anything.
We’re thrilled to have these improvements integrated into our system, and hope you find them as exciting as we do!
TM TKO has made a number of updates and improvements to to our user interface over recents weeks, and we thought a summary blog post was warranted to summarize all the changes!
Across all searches, we’ve added a “Docket Number” field. You can also find this in your History window, making it easy to keep track of — and get back to — prior projects.
Search tagging and commenting
In all searches, we have made a number of improvements to make it easier to tag and comment on results. The first column of your results now has more going on than it used to. The first row has a number and a pair of arrows; these let you move around in the report and control its functions. The second row has expanded tagging functionality and a new notes feature.
The number in the upper-left is now an active link. Click on it, and we’ll bounce you up to the scatterplot to see where this application or registration record is located.
The paired arrows in the upper right will compress the contents of that row to a single line, or expand it again. It’s useful for shortening up lengthy descriptions of goods and services.
The tagging star is not new, but some of its functionality is. When you click on the star, it won’t immediately turn blue like it used to. Instead, you’ll get a popup with several color options: red, yellow, green, blue, and clear. This will let you prioritize and re-sort results how you want them, both inside the platform and in exports. (More on the export side shortly.) All of your old searches with blue stars will still appear blue, but you can edit those to use the new colors.
After you pick a star, you can double-click to apply that same star color to any other rows. Pick a new color from the color selector, and double-clicking will apply that new color.
The little pencil-writing-on-paper icon in the lower right allows you to add and edit notes on a per-record basis. Click on one, and you’ll get an interstitial pop-up to add your comments: comments about the risk analysis, a link to the mark in use, or etc. In the platform, you can read the comment by clicking on the icon — you’ll see a darker icon for any rows that have user comments.
Where the comments show up in exports varies a bit. For Word and PDF exports, they show up in a row immediately below the commented-upon record. Some comments can be pretty long, and this makes sure your insights won’t be squashed into a tiny little column. For CSV exports, they’ll be the furthest-right column, but on the same row.
Search report spacing and review
The small “paired arrows” in the bottom right show up in several places in the interface. They do the same thing: give you a “compressed” view of results. If you click on it on a single line, it’ll shorten that up to just the core details. You might use it to, say, skim over a 44(e) registration with a list of goods that goes on and on and on and on. Here’s what a shortened row looks like:
If you click the two-arrow icon on the top of a search or a section of a search, it’ll single-line all records. It’s just like the per-row expander, but applied to the whole section of the report. If you click the four-arrow expander icon, for either the whole report or just a section, the rows will expand to the full width of your window with no whitespace buffer.
The export buttons have moved from specific sections to a unified export button at the top right of the page, as shown below.
When you click on an export type, you’ll get a much more detailed set of options than before. You now have more optionality about both what results to include by section (all, only tagged, or none) and about the order they will appear (sorting by relevance or tags). If you sort by tags, you’ll get results in order, with red first then yellow, green, blue, and clear (untagged). This should allow you to get your charts ordered exactly how you want them with less effort.
At the bottom, you’ll see some extra checkboxes — you can choose whether to include static images of the scatterplot and bar graphs (previously available in PDF and now available in Word, too), and whether to include item-specific notes.
Users with heavy clearance needs have requested a way to enter bulk searches. For example, clothing brands may need to clear hundreds of names for a new seasons’ catalog, or pharma brands may need to get a long list of candidate names to submit for regulatory approval. We have just added a feature to facilitate these clearances.
The new Bulk Order page under Knockout is where you can take advantage of this new convenience. It’s simple to order multiple searches for different marks using the same goods, whether word marks or designs, and you can even input names via spreadsheet. Bulk searches are no less thorough than a normal search, and you can go into each search report individually. To facilitate quick review, bulk orders also have a convenient preview page that summarizes all the results. It provides you a quick risk assessment (using the red/yellow/green stars; these are user-editable so you can customize the assessment) and a short preview of the top handful of results. It’s a huge time saver! To reflect the additional computational impact of turning around large numbers of results quickly, bulk orders have a $5 fee per marked searched.
Your feedback and suggestions are really important to TM TKO — they help inform how and when we make updates to our services. We hope that you will enjoy these upgrades, and keep the suggestions coming!
TM TKO is happy to announce that we have launched 10 new jurisdictions in our trademark clearance, watching, and prosecution research platform, more than doubling the number of searchable trademark records in TM TKO. TM TKO now covers the primary trademark filing jurisdictions for nearly 1 billion people worldwide, and provides partial coverage for nearly 100 additional jurisdictions via WIPO International Registration data.
The new countries and jurisdictions:
North America: Canada, Mexico
Europe: the European Union IP Office (EUIPO), France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Global: the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The new jurisdictions are already integrated into TM TKO’s smart clearance search system, its watching and automated watch Portfolio setup tools, and its groundbreaking ThorCheck® prosecution and dispute research engine.
If you already enjoy using TM TKO, let your local counsel in these jurisdictions know to give us a try! If you have never tried TM TKO, or if you haven’t tried TM TKO lately, we’d be happy to show you all the new features. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk. We have a free 30 day trial, and always have free training and support.
How Does TM TKO’s Smart Clearance Work?
Just enter your client’s mark and core products, and TM TKO will come up with the hundreds of search strategies needed to identify relevant marks and weight them appropriately. Let’s say your client is planning to use the mark UNSTOPPABLE FLAVOR, and wants to clear it in New Zealand and Australia.
A bar graph will show you how TM TKO weights the component parts — it’s paying much more attention to UNSTOPPABLE than FLAVOR, since flavor is fairly diluted and the term shows up frequently in descriptions of goods.
TM TKO also plots out confusion risks to help you move through your analysis more quickly. More similar marks are plotted up the vertical axis, and more similar goods plotted horizontally. Here, a pair of registrations (shown in the same color to make families of marks stick out more) for UNSTOPPABLE for cereal owned by Kellogg, one in AU and one in NZ, stick out, with a registration for LITTLE BOTTLE OF UNSTOPPABLE for custards owned by Parmalat a bit to its left. Further down to the right, a bunch of marks including FLAVOR for coffee co-exist. Further down the report, you’ll also have a traditional table with full details of the results; this chart just provides a quick visual overview to speed up your review.
Our international expansion also sees us add improved translation options and data, for both the marks you are searching and underlying trademark registry data.
What Is ThorCheck?
ThorCheck is an analytical engine that will find evidence to support arguments for or against likelihood of confusion refusals (for jurisdictions with substantive ex parte examination) and oppositions (everywhere). You can use it in two ways: first, to analyze the strength of your arguments, and second, to generate evidence to support those arguments.
Using ThorCheck for Analysis. The ThorCheck report also gives you analysis about overlap — in addition to these examples of co-existence, how often does a single company own registrations that cover both goods? Here, there are both a number of examples of “intersection” — same mark and owner for both sets of goods — and “dissimilarity,” where different companies have happened to select identical or similar marks. (That count is typically lower because it relies on some chance.) This can help you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your position.
Let’s say you are EU trademark counsel for a skateboard company. Your application gets opposed by a prior registration for a fairly similar mark for bicycles. ThorCheck can help! Plug in skateboards on one side and bicycles on the other, and you can get a read as to how much evidence there is on either side of the “related goods” question.
As for the evidentiary piece, ThorCheck will find examples of identical or similar marks with different owners, one for skateboards and one for bicycles. This can help you mount a convincing argument that the two sets of goods and services are not so closely related that confusion is likely — demonstrating actual market co-existence can really move the needle.
Representative examples only — there are many more quality examples you’d want to include in a real proceeding.
This evidence can turn the tide in a difficult opposition, by providing you registry-based evidence of the type of co-existence that your counter-party suggests will cause consumer confusion.
ThorCheck isn’t just for goods/services comparisons! You can also use ThorCheck to find co-existing marks that differ by a single term (i.e. marks that are identical or very similar, except one has STUDIO and one doesn’t), or find registrations with two terms that co-exist (like HAWK and BIRD) in a class.
How Does TM TKO Approach Watching?
All subscriptions to TM TKO include unlimited watching, built on its smart clearance engine. As a TM TKO user, the days of having to sell clients on hard vendor costs to get them to move into a watching regime are over. Protect them and generate valuable work opportunities for you practice!
It is easy to set up a watching portfolio based on your firm name, email address, or a client name or names, depending on what information your “home” country provides. We provide an initial training session to help you get your watching set up to your specifications, and you can reap the rewards.
If You Aren’t a TM TKO User: Try For Free!
TM TKO comes with a free 30-day trial to make sure that our tools match the way you prefer to work. We’re happy to set up a web meeting to walk you through all of the tools and get your watching set up, so you get the full value out of the platform.
If you decide to use TM TKO post-trial, you have two options. First, a $75 daily pass that provides 24 hours of use of anything but watch, for more transactional research projects. Second, a subscription that also provides unlimited watching. Subscriptions are $250/mo or $2500/yr for one seat, and prices increase gradually for additional seats — for example, 5 seats are $500/mo or $5000/yr.
Current TM TKO Users: What Does This Expansion Mean for You?
You get a whole lot more features for exactly the same price tag! We don’t have any jurisdictional gating or other pricing-driven access limitations. If you are a TM TKO user, you now have access to all this new data.
The easiest way to take advantage of the new international watching features is to set up a new Portfolio or Portfolios for your multinational clients’ key marks. We will have a blog post up shortly to walk you through that process.
TM TKO has now incorporated visual indicators of citations in knockout search and manual search results. There is a gray circle for any citations “inbound” during prosecution, and there is a red circle for any “outbound” citations against other applications. You can click on either circle to see full details on the cited marks, to hop into their file histories, and more. This data is also available via the magnifying glass.
Visibility into cited records adds considerable depth to the search report. Knowing how frequently the USPTO is citing this application as a bar to other applications helps you more accurately judge the risk that filing might pose to your client’s mark, and secure better outcomes for your client with less research time.
To do the search, we just enter the mark and several goods and services related to podcasting – downloadable podcasts in Class 9, podcasting services generally in Class 38, and music podcasts in Class 41.
We can see at a glance that we have several marks that include varieties of RHINESTONE in relevant classes and for related services, plus a few (the slightly lower line) that include the slightly more common COCAINE, but nothing with both (those would be right at the top of the graph). Double-clicking on any result takes you down to full details, like the following. In the full table, you can tag results for easy export to Word, or export TSDR status and title copies if you’re doing a search to find evidence for use in prosecution.
How about identifying common-law use? Unsurprisingly, both the result sets for the mark alone and the mark plus podcast-related services zoom in on the podcast immediately.
Just for fun, let’s say you were planning on filing an application and wanted to get some ideas on other services that might be related. Let’s use the “Related GS” tool under the “Tools” menu to look for other descriptions that frequently overlap in active, use-based registration that contain “entertainment services, namely, providing podcasts in the field of music” in Class 41. We see a wide range of results, from downloadable podcasts in Class 9 to live music in Class 41 to career information in the music field in Class 35 and music magazines in Class 16. All could certainly be viable expansion avenues for a successful podcast.