Anyone who has ever searched the uspto.gov website has surely thought that the private sector could offer a better system. Google agreed, and nearly a year ago struck a deal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make all of the data on patents and trademarks available not only to their own search engine, but in bulk format to other companies so that they could take the data and work with it.
We’ve been impressed with the work of Robb Shector on OregonLaws.org and WebLaws.org. Now, he’s made excellent use of the trademark data to create Quisitive, an iPhone app for searching trademarks in a new and very innovative way.
The app, which features a similar brown look-and-feel to OregonLaws.org and WebLaws.org is fast and far more intuitive to use then the equivalent function on the uspto.gov website.
It features a simple five button menu (Search, History, Filter, FAQ and Reference). The Search is simple, asking only for a word or phrase you want to search for. To filter your results by category, select the filter option, turn it on, and select a category.
The app presents search results very quickly, with registered trademarks differentiated from unregistered marks by a stamped ® symbol (as seen in the above screenshot of YouTube’s trademark).
A nice touch is the History button which shows not only your previous searches but compares the number of results to each query–a great way to compare results if you are spending your off time trying to come up with that killer name for your next project or company.
The FAQ is great at helping to demystify the complicated and confusing trademark arena. And, the detailed information about each trademark registration is well laid out (although I noticed some glitches with text overflows sometimes) and contains a link to uspto.gov for reading the full details page.
If you are struggling to come up with a name for your product or business, or you just like searching and reading information about trademarks, and have an iPhone (hopefully an Android version will come out soon, considering Robb’s plea for a donation of an Android phone last year on his blog), give Quisitive Trademark Search a try for $4.99 on iTunes.