The World Intellectual Property Organization has opened up a free, searchable web-based database of over 640,000 trademarks.
The slick new Global Brand Database is not related to domain names specifically, but could well prove an invaluable research tool for players in the space, especially for top-level domain applicants.
How useful it becomes will depend on how much the database grows. At the moment, it appears less than comprehensive.
WIPO said the interface currently provides access to three existing databases.
There’s the list of “armorial bearings, flags and other state emblems as well as the names, abbreviations and emblems of intergovernmental organizations” protected under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
There’s the database of “appellations of origin” – geo-brands such as Champagne and Tequila – registered under the so-called Lisbon system.
Finally, and probably most interestingly, there’s international trademarks registered under the Madrid system, which is a way for companies to register their brands in multiple legal jurisdictions.
But don’t expect to find US trademarks, for example, listed in the database yet. WIPO said in its announcement that it plans to add national databases to the system in the future.