How to Do A Trademark Search
An organization must verify that the products’ names and symbols are not being used. A trademark Search is a great tool to achieve this goal.
Unless your summer was spent in a remote place, you likely heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. You might have participated in this viral phenomenon that has raised over 114 million dollars.
But you might not have known that Fortune magazine states that there are a total of 78 million people in the world.The ALS Association tried toTrademarkThe “ice bucket challenge” and “ALS icebuck challenge” slogans. They could have used the terms as they were intended.
The article states that there was not a positive response to the news of their efforts. According to records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, (USPTO), the applications had been expressly dropped by the applicant. The average trademark application is not likely to generate much drama.
What is a Trademark and How Does it Work?
Trademark registrationEvery business should consider this important. According toTrademark OfficeA trademark is “a word or phrase, symbol, design or combination thereof that identifies and differentiates the source of the goods of one person from those of another.”
A business spends a lot of time and money developing a product. It is crucial that the customer knows who the seller is. The confusion among consumers about the business selling the products they are interested in is a problem for both the businesses and the commerce. Learn more about What is a Trademark
You might have wondered over the last few summers why there was such a wide variety of pops for sale from so many vendors. These pops can be called fruit pops, pops of ice, and other types, but they are not.Popsicles. Popsicle(r), a popsicle is aTrademark registrationUnilever is the only company that can use this term to describe their product.
Search for USPTO Trademarks
An organization must make sure that the products’ names and symbols aren’t being used. ASearch for trademarksIt can assist in achieving this goal.
A basicSearch for trademarksRegistered trademarksThis can be done free of charge on the USPTO’s website through their Trademark Electronic Search System. You can also search for a trademark at the USPTO website.Patent and Trademark Resource Center.There are many locations across the country. You can find them all over the country.Manual USPTO Design Search CodeSearches can also be made for logos and designs which may be part a trademark.
Please note that the USPTO won’t search you before your filing.Demand for trademark. If there is an identical trademark already registered or pending, however, they will conduct a search.
Important to keep in mind that TESS can be used for any purpose.Search for federal trademarksThe “contains records of active or inactive trademark registrations, and applications.”Status of the applicationThis will tell you if the item is currently registered, pending, abandoned. This is not the end of the search. There are many other options.Complete trademark searchYou will need more.
Trademark Search Tips
Create a list that describes your product or service and include the trademark search keywords. Your company name and brand names should also be included in your search. Look out for words that sound like your trademark, as well as words with unconventional spellings.
You can search for specific terms by using the Acceptable ID of Goods & Services Manual. You can find more information about your search strategy, international protection and how to conduct trademark searches on the USPTO site.
ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Their website allows you to find out whether a website domain is being used or who has it.
Google your potential trademark and words to find out what results you get. Sometimes, a trademark is not registered, but may already be in use. This could mean that common law rights have been established which could prevent your company from registering the trademark and/or lead to a legal dispute.
Check it outSuperpagesListings of names already in service. Search for corporate names in the state corporate record search at the Secretary for State’s office for your particular state. This website could also include listings of active or retired companies.Register trademarksat the state and local levels.
Finally, check that your name or slogan can legally be trademarked before you begin the trademark search. It should be a strong symbol. The USPTO [ PDF] says there are generally four types.
Fanciful trademarks, or those that have distinctive characteristics, are the strongest and easiest to protect. Fanciful trademarks are words created from words without a known dictionary meaning. Arbitrary marks can be words with a meaning that cannot be easily linked to the goods being protected. The more creative you are, the better.
A generic trademark is the name of the product and is rarely protected by law. A trademark cannot be filed for milk to market a dairy-based beverage. Some trademarks can become generic simply because they are widely used without any specific company or brand being associated with them. You can use the term aspirin to describe any type of pain relief medication.
It is a terrible thing for a business to see a valuable mark become generic. Popsicle(r) will be the name of the popular summertime treat. Unilever will not relinquish its trademark rights on the Popsicle(r) that is so beloved by millions.
Do you want to check if your trademark is available? LegalZoom can conduct a thorough trademark search of your trademark name. It will include all current and pending USPTO trademark applications as well as active and pending state trademarks. We also have access to corporate names, common law trademarks, Internet domains names and international trademarks. LegalZoom also offers trademark registration services, which can be completed in only three easy steps and cost a minimal fee.