Why & How to Do a Trademark Name Search?

Irrespective of the industry you are operating in, starting a new business can be overwhelming, confusing and exciting all at once. There are plenty of things we need to deal while initiating a business like financing, advertising, ownership and organization structure etc.

However, one area that is neglected by many is ensuring that the name of the business is truly available. After all, what’s the point in putting in all that time, effort & money into a name that is already owned by another party?

There are more than 16 million trade names in the United States with 2 million federal trademarks, 14 million common law trademarks, and 100 thousands state trademarks hence it is important to ensure your trademark name doesn’t resemble other trade names in sound, appearance or meaning.

Research should be done properly to ensure your trade name is legally available and it’s best to do this before: opening, expansion, incorporation or designing your logo.

Up to now we understood the reason for doing a trademark name search and then come the ways to execute the search, here are some of the important ways to do a trademark name search:

Search the Trademark Electronic Search System: The Trademark Electronic Search System provided by the U.S. PTO is the first trademark search database that appears in our mind. This trademark search database offers plenty of options and opportunities for searchers to find trademark related data including trademark names.

There are many operators and search fields those we can use to narrow and refine our trademark related search. Searching trademarks with these fields and operators can make our search accurate, precise and targeted.

State trademark search database:  There are around 52 states in the United States and each has its own trademark search portals that houses trademark related data of that particular state, we need to search these databases along with the federal trademark search database.

Common law trademark search databases: Trademarks are assigned on first-to-use basis where-in a party is entitled for trademark rights even if it is not registered federally and hence comes the importance of common law trademark search where-in various non-federal databases are searched for business related relevant information.

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