How to do a Trademark Search

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When branding your business or product, one of the first steps should be conducting a thorough trademark (a.k.a. brand, or logo) search. This process helps to ensure that your proposed brand does not infringe upon existing trademarks, potentially avoiding costly legal disputes down the line.

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll walk you through how to perform a trademark search, using both free and paid resources. Remember, understanding the nuances of brands can be complex, but with the right approach, you can navigate this process effectively.

What is a Trademark?

Before diving into the search process, let’s understand what it is. A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one entity from those of others. This is also known as a “brand” or “logo”. There are different types of trademarks, each one crucial for maintaining the identity and integrity of a brand, which is why a comprehensive search is essential.

Why Conduct a Search?

Conducting a thorough search is critical before finalizing your brand’s name or logo. This process helps to ensure that your proposed brand isn’t already in use or too similar to existing ones. A thorough search can save you from future legal troubles and the need to rebrand, which can be both costly and damaging to your business’s reputation.

How to Conduct a Trademark Search

Step 1: Begin with the New USPTO Search System

With the retirement of the legacy Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on November 30, 2023, the USPTO has introduced a new cloud-based search system for pending and live trademark applications and registrations. This modern platform offers a more stable and user-friendly search experience with a simplified interface and enhanced capabilities tailored to your needs. Start your search using this updated system to access a comprehensive database of all US trademarks.

Step 2: Utilize the TSDR

After identifying potential brands in the new USPTO search system, proceed to the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. TSDR provides detailed information on brands, including their current status and a history of documents related to their registration and prosecution. This information is vital for assessing whether an existing brand could conflict with yours.

Step 3: Consider State and Common Law Searches

While the USPTO logo search is a critical step, don’t stop there. Perform a search for state-registered trademarks, as these are not included in the USPTO search database. Additionally, common law trademarks (those not registered but still legally protected due to commercial use) should also be considered. This can involve internet searches, checking business directories, and even social media platforms.

Step 4: Evaluate and Analyze the Results

After collecting the search results, analyze them carefully. Determine whether the existing brands are similar not only in appearance but also in the goods or services they cover. The similarity in sound, appearance, or meaning could potentially lead to a branding conflict.

When to Seek Professional Help

The process of obtaining a logo can be intricate and time-consuming. For those looking for professional assistance, consider reaching out to Weiss & Moy, P.C.. Their law firm specializes in trademarks, patents, intellectual property, and immigration law. With offices located in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, they provide the sophistication offered by larger firms without the high fees. Their attorneys are licensed to practice in multiple state and federal courts throughout the United States, ensuring your intellectual property is thoroughly protected.


A comprehensive brand search is not just a preliminary step; it’s an essential part of protecting your brand’s identity and future. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering professional legal assistance when necessary, you can navigate the complexities of trademark law effectively. 

Remember, investing time and resources into a proper trademark search can save you from significant legal issues and financial losses in the future.
For a free consultation in Florida, Nevada, or Arizona, trust Weiss & Moy, P.C., click here or call them toll-free at 1-480-994-8888.

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