Trademark search necessity
Trademark search is an important suggested step before applying for a trademark application. USPTO trademark database search is not comprehensive and will only give search results that are in USPTO databases. In our opinion, a comprehensive search is necessary.
If you want to do a search by yourself, then below is the following order:
1. USPTO database search: USPTO search gives results about mark status such as whether the mark is registered, abandoned, etc. Your search should not be limited to an “exact match.” Further, the search methodology needs to consider similar standards, design and similar-sounding marks for the likelihood of confusion analysis. Thus, this is not comprehensive search and will only give search results that are in USPTO databases.
2. State Database search: You can search state trademark databases by going to each of the Secretary of state website or another equivalent website in a different state for conflicting marks.
3. Domain name search: Please check the availability of domain name on your planned mark or any slight variations of your mark.
4. Google and Bing Search: Google is a dominant search engine and usually gives extensive information when you search for specific information on “mark.”
5. Common law search: This is hard to search for an individual applicant because common law rights in a mark are local in nature and geographically specific based on use. Further, common law based trademark rights are based on the first in-use of the mark in a geographical area.
Our Trademark Search Process
Our search will be conducted on federal USPTO databases, state trademark databases, common law search, and domain name search. Further, we also provide an opinion letter about the likelihood of success and any risks. If you apply for trademark application without search, then there may be other conflicting marks that are registered trademarks or used based on common law in a geographical region. Thus, the risk of office action and possibly subject to opposition and/ or cancellation proceedings gets high. Therefore, we do not file for trademark registration without completing a commercial search for the mark.
We have three packages where search and opinion are included. They include:
1. Search and opinion package.
2. US trademark registration package includes search and opinion. (Logo registration is not included).
3. Word mark AND design/ logo package include search and opinion.
Page Author: Bharath Konda, Esq.
Bharath Konda is a trademark attorney. He has a law license in Minnesota and the District of Columbia. He provides trademark registration services for individuals and businesses. You can check the Bharath Konda attorney profile page at MN state Bar Association. Further, feel free to check the attorney profile on legal information retrieval websites such as Avvo and Justia. Some of the sample trademark attorneys answered questions are on platforms such as Justia ask a lawyer platform and lawyers.com platform.