Trademark Searches

Trademark rights are based upon usage not registration. This means that you don't own a trademark by selecting the name or brand. You own a trademark because you use the name or brand. To see if you can register a mark you need to find out if anyone else has the right to the mark.

United States Trademark Office Search-Structured Search

The first place to see if someone owns your name or brand is to see if anyone has registered th3 trademark or attempted to register the mark. The USPTO has a search feature. This feature will solely search the USPTO database-meaning only if someone attempted to register your name or brand as a trademark will the name appear. If the name or brand has more than one word then you need to check for all the words. A structured search of non punctuated marks with AND for both words to appear is typically the first search. Typically the search will retrieve many marks and you will have to review each combination. Even this limited search will not tell you if any mark is confusingly similar to your brand or name trademark. A mark is confusingly similar if the public will be confused whether your mark is similar to someone else's trademark. This is a factual determination. Marks that are generic or merely descriptive are not good marks either as they may not be allowed to be registered. This is the first step.

Secretary of State-website database

A second place to check on a trademark to search is to see if the mark is available by State. You can check your State to see if their is a State trademark database. You can obtain a trademark solely within you State that protects you solely in your State. If there is a Federal Trademark then that mark is good in all fifty states. You also can check the Secretary of State database for both LLC and incorporations to see if the name or brand is available in your State. The same concerns of confusingly similar, generic or descriptive names apply when checking the name, brand or trademark in your State database.

Internet (Google and other browsers)

A third place to check on a trademark for search purposes is google search combined with a domain checker to see if the domain name is taken for you name, brand or trademark. The same rules apply of  confusingly similar, generic or descriptive names apply when checking the name, brand or trademark with a domain name checker or google.com search function.

Industry Publications

Also check industry and publication databases. 

Social Media

Checking social media for your name, brand or trademark is another good place to check. Knowem.com is a good database to check.

Essentially there are thousands of databases to check. The more databases that you check the more likely your trademark will succeed.

The more databases you select the better your chances that


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!