3 Types Of Trademark Search

A trademark search is the first required step in the process of trade marking a word or phrase. This is followed by filing your trademark application. To learn about the entire process see how to trademark.

Do I need a trademark search?

If you are going to file for a trademark you absolutely must do a search first. A search is used to determine if your trademark has already been registered. The same trademark cannot be registered to two or more parties.

If you find that your trademark is already registered to another party you could be violating someone else's property rights by using the mark. If you are planning to use this trademark or are currently in the marketplace with the mark you should consult professional advise on what to do next.

There are three types of trademark searches that can be done to determine if you will be able to register your mark. These include a common law search, an electronic search and a physical on site search.

Common Law Trademark Search

A common law search is a search done outside of the federal registry. This includes places like the internet, phone directories or state registries. This type of search is done by simply looking for your mark in commerce. Is someone using your name on the internet? Does a company have the same brand as you do? It is good to find out as easily and inexpensively as possible before you spend too much money promoting your mark.

Some people will tell you that a common law search is not necessary. I have not found that to be true. I have had one or two trademarks denied because of a common law search. The trademark names in question were not registered but they were being used in commerce. The trademark office sent back the rejection with the publication showing use in commerce by another company.

The company was using the mark therefore they enjoyed what is called common law rights. Common law rights come from USING the mark in commerce. In general, whoever first uses a mark in commerce has the ultimate right to use and registration. This is one of the reasons that you should not heavily invest in a trademark until it is registered. There is always some risk that you could be using someone else's property.

Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

TESS is the online search directory for the US Patent and Trademark Office. It is very easy to search for trademarks at this site. Simply enter your search term and submit your query. The search engine will return word marks that have your search term in them. Examine the marks that are closest to your mark and determine if they are live or dead. Live means that they are actively registered and being used. Dead means they have been abandoned and are likely available for you to use and register.

Once you have identified a mark that is similar to yours click on it. The owner of the mark, the filing date and the category of the mark will be listed.

Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL)

The final way to search trademarks is at the PTDL. There are one or more of these library locations in every state in the US where you can go to search trademarks. I have never been to one of these libraries to do a manual search and I cannot think of a reason that I would want to given the capability for searching on the internet.

Return to How To Trademark from Trademark Search
Return to Home Page from Trademark Search

Share this page:
| Home | Contact | Privacy Policy

Get My 10 Best Inventor Tips Now!

* indicates required

Recent Articles

  1. Pain Away and Healing

    Mar 21, 23 06:47 AM

    Pain Away Solution, All Natural Real Treatment
    Pain Away and Healing is a Natural Treatment for Pain. 1-4 days treatment, Pains are gone completely, no side effects. Real Treatment, NOT temporary relief

    Read More

  2. Counter King

    Aug 22, 22 10:31 AM

    Counter King Is a 15 task small kitchen counter top appliance. This is a Patent Pending multi task food processing machine. Some of the features are

    Read More

  3. ATBEY

    Aug 11, 22 08:31 AM

    An in-ground fire retardant sprayer system. Placed on the edge of property 5ft apart, smoke triggered, controlled box from inside structure. Once triggered

    Read More