Before Applying for a trademark, you should conduct an online trademark search. Because trademarks are awarded to the first user of a mark, a trademark search may reveal if there are any other trademarks which have been registered or if any trademark applications have been filed which are the same or similar to your mark. Because many of the trademark databases are available online for free, you can conduct your own search in advance of filing a trademark application. If you want you can conduct your own search using our online trademark search. Alternatively, you can search the federal database yourself for any marks which are similar or identical to your mark or you can search Google.
There are many different types of trademark searches. The cost associated with conducting a search can range from free to very expensive, depending on the scope of the search. Often a trademark applicant simply wants a knock-out or clearance search. In other cases, they may want an international, common-law and federal trademark search. If this is of interest, you should contact a trademark attorney to help you determine which type of online trademark search is right for you. After you finish the search, you can apply for a trademark online by simply answering a few questions.
The most common, a clearance search can be used to determine if there are any pending applications with the United States Trademark Office which are identical to your mark. It can be used to review registered trademarks, pending trademark applications, abandoned trademark applications and trademark registrations. Other trademark searches which may be beneficial to conduct include a common law search, a state-by-state search, an international search, a domain name search and a corporate name search.
A common law trademark search involves researching if others are using the same name or mark you wish to register. In some cases, this may include a search on Google or some other internet search engine. Because not every trademark is registered, a common law search may uncover some uses which a knock-our or clearance search won’t.
A state-by-state trademark search may also be helpful. Because a trademark may be registered federally or at the state level, sometimes searching the records of every state can uncover additional uses which a federal, knock-out or common law search won’t find. Often times the state databases are not available on line and the only way to uncover any registrations is to use one of the commercial databases which we can access.
Because trademarks are used all around the world, sometimes it is beneficial to investigate if a mark is registered outside of the United States. Some of these international countries make their database available for free, while others do not. Because obtaining individual access to these databases may be difficult, if not impossible, if this is a concern you should speak to one of our trademark attorneys.
After you have completed your search, if you still want to prepare a trademark application, you can use our online trademark application process and with a few short answers, one of our trademark attorney’s can prepare your trademark application.