Trademark search is important when it comes to protecting the identity of a product or service. Trademark search is a broad domain that involves doing trademark related search on various databases and platforms, still, the most important among these is, federal trademark search, wherein we search the Trademark Electronic Search System provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Federal trademark search is not the only thing that matters but it’s one of the most important things that should be considered while doing a comprehensive and full trademark search. This trademark search database contains plenty of tools and techniques that can help trademark search professionals do a comprehensive and full trademark search. However, unlike doing a product search in Google and Craig List, here we need to have a clear understanding not only of the database but also the trademark regulatory norms.
This is an article that will describe how to do a federal trademark search in Trademark Electronic Search System provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Various Steps of Doing a Federal Trademark Search:
Describe the Products or Services being sold with the mark: The first and foremost thing that we need to do is describe the products and services we are intending to sell with the intended mark. This will help us determining the nature of the product/service and its respective class. With a trademark class, we can make our search more targeted and to the point.
Identify Specific Terms for Your Product or Service using the U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual): Once you described your products/services the next important step is to go to the U.S. Goods and Services Manual to locate terms and key-phrases that can describe your products. The U.S Acceptable Goods and Services Manual can be accessed on the USPTO website at http://tess2.uspto.gov/netahtml/tidm.html.
Determine International Class: Though providing the class for your goods or services is not mandatory, still, knowing the same can aid in focusing our search for trademarks. Each product or service falls into a certain international class and that class is universally agreed upon. Doing trademark search with class can be of immense importance as it will help trademark search professionals make their search targeted and less time consuming.
Determine Related Goods or Services, and their Classes: Sometimes, exact match words may not yield the desired result and hence we need to identify related Goods or Services and their classes to make our search broad and comprehensive. To make our search more comprehensive, we need to scan the International Classification of Goods and Services for classes that are related to your product or service. The same can be done at http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/international.jsp.
Develop a Basic Search Strategy: Once you have a list of keywords, terms, and key-phrases start doing a Basic Word Mark Search in case you are a new user and new to the trademark search domain. If you are an experienced trademark search professional you can use other two options, Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured), or Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form). No matter whichever option you are opting in using various operators, truncation devices (*) or wildcards (?) to look for marks with word stems similar to yours is important.
Federal trademark search is something that requires a clear understanding of the U.S. trademark regulatory norms, a passion for details and deep experience of various trademark search databases like the U.S. federal trademark search database.