Prime Required Resources for Conducting a Common Law Search

A comprehensive trademark search will be incomplete without doing a common law search because it lets searcher find even those marks that are not in the official records. In fact, the grant of trademarks in the United States is based on a first-use system and trademark rights can be established simply by continuous use of the mark in connection with goods or services. Federal registration is, therefore, not a prerequisite to trademark rights in the U.S.

Hence, when you are going to invest a huge amount of money in your business it is important to ensure right at the beginning that you are choosing the trademark that worth investment. Common law trademark search is one of those tools that can help you determine if your mark is worth investing or not.


In a nutshell, we can say that common law search is an important aspect in comprehensive trademark search process and searcher needs to take it into consideration while doing a comprehensive search for trademarks. This article aims at listing those best resources where trademark search professionals can find marks that are covered under common law and are not registered federally.

So, before we move on to the common law trademark resources we need to define it and here is the definition.

What is a common law trademark search?

A common law trademark search is the act of checking directories, databases and other sources to see whether a given trademark has been used already to avoid trademark infringement and any such untoward event at latter stage. Common law trademark search is a step which is done after searching for registered federal trademarks using TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System).

Resources for conducting common law trademark search:

There are plenty of resources which searchers can use to do common law trademark search still there are some which are common:

Yellow Pages: Yellow pages are one of the most common resources that are used by professional trademark search professionals to find a mark which is not in the official records in Federal and State government.

State Trademark Registers: Each state in the United States has its own trademark register which can be used by trademark search firms to find marks which are covered under the common law.

Internet: With the advent of computer and internet search has become very handy and same is the case with trademark search. When it comes to searching for marks that are present under common law search engines like Google and Yahoo can help us a lot. Altering and tweaking the keywords we can search the mark.  

News Papers: Sometimes newspapers can help us doing an effective and elaborate trademark search. Some of the newspapers that are used to do trademark search are:

  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Newark (NJ) Star Ledger
  • USA Today & Washington Post)

 To sum it up we can say that doing common law trademark search is important to ensure your brand is safe and secure from any kind of infringement and other worries.

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