Trademark Searching

How do I do a trademark search?

The first step of getting a trademark is to see if there are likely to be conflicts with other marks.  The conflict is evaluated on the basis will the mark create a likelihood of confusion with a prior mark, including the predominant questions of if the marks sounding and appearing the same, and if the goods and services the marks are used on will likely cause confusion with the senior mark holders.

There are several places to look for these potential conflicts: the federal database of trademarks, state trademark registration databases, common law marks used without being registered, corporate names, and trademarks registered in the 50 states.  A conflict in any of those categories can be a problem for registering or using a trademark.  It is advisable to search all of these sources for possible conflicts, but at least searching the federal database is essential to begin.