Archive for the ‘Trademarks’ Category

Federal Trademark Search

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Search the federal trademark database to make sure your trademark is available

A trademark is a special indicator – including any word, symbol, or design – that distinguishes your business, and your unique products and services, from other businesses. Though not absolutely mandatory, registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can provide you with added protection, namely exclusive nationwide use of the trademark.

Before you start the registration process, the USPTO recommends that you do three things:

  • Decide on the mark you want to register
  • Make sure you’re clear on which goods and services the mark will be connected to, and
  • determine whether you are filing an application vases on actual existing use of the mark or a bona fide intention to use the mark in the future.

Doing a little trademark research can really help you with step one, because your trademark has to meet certain criteria. Most of all, it’s essential that it be unique. Since the purpose of a trademark is to distinguish your business, your trademark cannot conflict with or be confused with any other trademark already in existence, because then they both lose their power.

When you register your trademark with Legal Central, we will check to make sure that such a conflict does not exist. But during the brainstorming process you should do a federal trademark search to see what’s available and what’s already been taken. This will help you come up with a trademark that will be accepted, and also one that’s unique to your business.

Keep in mind, you can’t know for sure that a trademark name is available until you attempt to register a trademark and an examining attorney from the USPTO performs a definitive search.

But in the meantime you can get a good idea of the competition by heading over to uspto.gov. There you can access the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) where you can search the USPTO’s database of registered trademarks and prior pending applications.

The database won’t just return results that are an exact match for your proposed trademark. It will alert you of existing trademarks that are similar to yours. These trademarks may block approval of your trademark due to a likelihood of confusion.

For your viewing pleasure, the USPTO has created a fantastically corny fake newscast about the trademark registration process that might be able to answer some of your questions. At the very least it should give you a chuckle.