Is Your Brand Too Similar, or Unoriginal? Do you know? Do a Reverse Logo Search and Find Out.
Designing a brand identity can be one of the most enjoyable parts of starting or updating a business/organization, but it can also be perilous. Your newly created brandmark might be too similar to another’s intellectual property. And unless you have done a thorough search, you might not ever know. There are several ways to actively search and find out if your brand identity ( logo ) has similar doppelgangers already out there, and many of those options are for free? And if you were the original trendsetter, you might want to know if another brand is mimicking your brand identity system.
I compiled the best methods of discovering whether your brand identity system is too similar to other trademarks, icons, designs, and work marks out there for you.
As we previously covered some brands may be uncomfortably similar to others and may require a brand update. But, many branding systems are legally similarily designed especially in packaging design, to gain from another competitor brand’s headwind. And sometimes they might even encroach another brand’s intellectual property with copy-cat designs. Each country, region, has unique rules when it comes to protecting intellectual properties. We suggest if you are interested to read up on that here ( LegalZoom ).
Reverse Logo Search Tools & Methods
Reverse Logo Search – Google Image Search
This method is probably the easiest. But the results are somewhat intangible, they will not provide you trademark results and they will find other usages similar to the exact image you provided but not similar markings. Still, this can be a useful place to start your logo/design/wordmark/packaging reverse search.
Reverse Logo Search – TinEye
TinEye is great and it seems to focus just on the image content similarities, better than Google in that regard and less about the meta-context, such as where it came from what context it came from etc. I’d recommend this one as a starting place first.
Reverse Logo Search – TradeMark.Vision Now TM go365™
TradeMark Vision is an awesome tool that can help you find out if your IP is unique, but it comes at a ridiculously expensive price. I would not suggest this for design agencies as it is cost prohibitive. I believe this is more meant for legal teams or fortune 500 companies needing to do background research and IP protection.
Reverse Patent Search – Europe Only – E Search Plus
E-Search Plus is European Unions IP database. I think it’s far more modernized than the United States’s TESS system. I am not even sure if you can compare the two.
Reverse Patent Search – USA Patents Only – TESS ( Trademark Electronic Search System )
TESS is like Lexus Nexus from the 1990s. The user experience is archaic, but this tool is filled with critical data. 1 tip I can provide: If you search for a specific name that you want to acquire and trademark, make sure you search for similar root words ( IE You want to trademark “Johnny Rockets Burgers” but first you should search first for “Johnny Rockets”, which is already trademarked ) by doing this you will save yourself time, or your clients time, and money in the process. And it goes without saying, owning a .com address alone does not mean you can trademark the same name.
Reverse Logo Search – Bing.com Visual Search
I think Bing.com is probably a standout for one of the best tools to do a reverse logo search. It’s clean and it shows millions of results quickly and visually. Bing’s limitation is likely the reach it has because not every website is submitted to both Bing & Google equally you will have to rely on a time delay for the web crawlers to identify all valid images. But overall it looks a ton better when doing a visual search, and that has to count for something.