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The NUANS Search System

NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) is a computerized search system that compares a proposed corporate name or trademark with databases of existing corporate bodies and trademarks. This comparison determines the similarity that exists between the proposed name/mark and existing names in the database, and produces a listing of names that are found to be most similar.

NUANS is a registered trademark of the government of Canada. The software and the data is the property of Industry Canada. Compaq was awarded the licence to administer the NUANS system, which includes day-to-day operation of the system, system maintenance, database updating and the marketing of the NUANS system. The NUANS goals include:

a) Quality - Cite all names that conflict with the proposed name in a
     concise, easily readable report format;

b) Economy - Minimise the time and effort required by searching
    staff, in performing the name check function and optimise the use
    of computer resources required in a name search.

c) Consistency - Produce reports, upon which name granting
    decisions can be made, that are of equal high quality for all names
    searched without the dangers of human subjectivity.

d) Flexibility - Be flexible enough to accommodate the various
    differences between jurisdictions in legislation concerning the name
    checking and name granting process. NUANS is currently in use in
     jurisdictions where name searching is totally privatised, partially
    privatised or still totally under control of the corporate administrator.

The NUANS approach is to automate the name searching function by having a program with enough "intelligence" to consider all possible criteria for confusion between proposed and existing names.  In simple terms, NUANS is a large computer program which provides a complete search, regardless of the name formulation. There are certain programs which perform the phonetic searching, and others do more direct searching dependent on the length of the words. There is a NUANS Dictionary which is composed of descriptive words, a synonym table, and other features to allow a user to enter additional name spellings, when inputting a name to be searched.