Trademark Search

A trademark search is performed to determine the viability of a proposed trademark for use with the proposed goods and/or services.  In most instances trademark searched are performed before a mark is used in commerce to determine if the mark is: a) available for use (not in use by a third party); and b) to determine the strength of the mark in association with the proposed goods/services.  As a trademark search is relatively inexpensive, it is highly recommended a search be conducted before you start spending resources building a brand and reputation, only to find out the brand is owned by someone else.

A trademark search has additional merit, as it is not limited to registered trademarks found in the USPTO database.  A trademark search scours the internet, state business databases, journals, and other databases to determine whether the proposed mark has been used in commerce.  Because trademark rights are based on use, knowing whether and where a similar mark has been used provides the trademark owner with valuable information about how its trademark can expand.

As most companies will have a short list of proposed mark they are willing to consider, a Cursory Search, limited to the USPTO database, is suggested to provide a preliminary indication as to the viability of the proposed marks.  The Cursory Search provides a less expensive method of determining which marks may or may not be an option, before they proceed with the comprehensive trademark search.

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