An important part of the print on demand business, as I’m pursuing it, is to make sure that any new potential idea is not conflicting with existing intellectual property registrations.
While copyright is a bit more complex, for trademarks this is actually just a regular search query in a database. But one needs to know which database to use, and which parameters to set to make sure you get the right results. That part I have figured out for a long time already, however, after going through another session of checking trademarks, I wanted to streamline this process.
Make every Repetitive Task as Efficient as Possible
Whenever there is a task that needs to be done more than a couple of times in exactly the same way, there is a huge potential for time savings in the long run. In order to maximize these time savings, I have adopted this philosophy deeply over the course of this year and try to apply it in as many places as possible.
Of course, it’s also a learning a process, and I’m definitely struggling with it, because I tend to have a “I’ll just do it manually quickly this time” by nature. But then “this time” happens over and over again. I often underestimate just how much time I could save when I take the time to set up a smooth process to work with from the beginning. This costs a lot of energy.
The print on demand business is a fantastic opportunity to learn and internalize this mentality, as there are many repetitive tasks to be done on a frequent basis.
For the trademark research before creating any new designs, this means visiting a trademark database website (I use and recommend TMview for that matter) and look for relevant registered words and phrases.
On this website, I always ended up having to set the same parameters again and again, to make the results fit my requirements. After a while, I discovered that all parameters of a search query are always defined within the URL of the results page, as in this example URL:
When seeing this I realized, that I could start a new database search query, with all the right parameters set, simply by creating a URL with the right format.
The idea to build my first Chrome extension was born (even though I had absolutely no idea how to do that and where to start at this point).
Structure of a Chrome Extension
I didn’t lose much time to ask Google “how to build a Chrome extension”.
Basically, if you have a simple idea that could be implemented into a website, you can also turn it into a small and functional Chrome extension, accessible from your browser menu.
So while this article is definitely not a tutorial on how to develop your first Chrome extension, it might encourage you to dig a little bit for the basic instructions and turn a small idea into a functional and time-saving Chrome extension.
Speeding Up my Trademark Research with TMview Quick Check
The result of my little project is a Chrome extension called TMview Quick Check, which upon a click on the icon opens a small popup with an input field for a trademark search query and a submit button.
Screenshot of the TMview Quick Check extension popup to start a trademark query
Once you have entered your phrase and submitted, it will open a new tab with a new search query on TMview, with the following parameters:
- Nice Class 25 (clothing),
- word mark,
- filed and registered,
- trademark offices relevant for Merch by Amazon (US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Europe, and international).
A process that took several steps before, including setting all parameters manually, condensed into one input field and one button click. I have definitely achieved my efficiency goal for this one.
You can see it in action in this video:
I have published this extension on the Chrome webstore, because I also wanted to learn how that works, and for others to make use of this little project as well.
Sharing is caring, right?
This really was a fun project for me and I’m really happy it came out exactly as I wanted it to be.
I plan to add a little more functionality to this extension in the future, so feedback is very much appreciated. Simply use the comments below this article or the review function in the Chrome webstore.