Table of Content

Why do I need to search for a trademark?

Do I need a lawyer to represent me?

How do you define a service mark or trademark?

Can trademarks, copyrights, or patents be used to protect the same thing?

How are domain names, trademark registrations, and business name registrations different?

Why do I need to search for a trademark?

A thorough search of your mark is essential before you apply. This will help identify potential problems like confusion with another registered mark or marks in a pending request.

In addition, it could help you avoid paying the extra expense of applying to register a mark for which another party may have stronger rights.

A search may also reveal whether your mark or a portion of it appears in generic words or descriptive wording in other registrations. If so, this could make it difficult or weak to protect.

Where can I find the answer?

Where can an I search for existing trademarks?

The USPTO offers an online search tool, TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System), which is free and available 24-7 at TESS search trademarks. The USPTO won’t search your mark before you apply.

However, as part of the examination of your request, the USPTO searches the mark and gives the results. The USPTO may refuse to register your trademark if it discovers a registered mark that is confusingly similar or an earlier-filed, pending mark for related goods/services.

You can also search TESS databases at a Patent and Trademark Resource Center. TESS searches only allow you to explore the USPTO’s federal trademark application and registration database.

These rights, also known as “common-law” rights, are solely based on the mark’s use in commerce within a given geographic area. Common law rights can be stronger than those based on registrations if the common usage is more recent than it supports.

You should search the Internet for similar marks and articles related to your products and services to determine if special common law rights exist. It is also good to search the state trademark databases and business name databases. It is essential to hire an attorney for assistance with your search.

Do I need a lawyer to represent me?

hire an attorney with expertise in trademark matters to represent them and give advice.

Filing a trademark request at the USPTO can start a complicated legal proceeding. You will have to adhere to all rules and statute requirements. Most applicants hire an attorney with expertise in trademark matters to represent them and give advice.

Even if you don’t hire an attorney, a USPTO trademark attorney can help you with the process. However, you cannot get legal advice from them. After you hire an attorney, USPTO will only communicate about your application with your attorney.

An attorney is not mandatory, but it could save you money and prevent you from costly legal problems in the future.

A comprehensive search of federal, state, and common law trademarks can be done before you file your application. Extensive investigations are crucial because other trademark owners may claim more substantial rights in trademarks similar to yours, even if they are not federally registered.

Unregistered trademarks won’t be included in the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System Database (TESS). However, they may still prevent you from using your mark, even if the USPTO registers it.

A trademark lawyer can also help you navigate the process of applying for protection. This includes accurately classifying and identifying your goods and services and responding to any refusals to registration that an examining attorney might issue.

In addition, a private attorney can help clarify the scope of your trademark rights and provide advice on the best ways to police and enforce these rights. You are responsible for enforcing trademark rights, not the USPTO.

How do I find a registered trademark attorney? To locate an attorney, contact us at PatentPC, and you can be assured of quality services. The USPTO does not provide legal advice or assist you in selecting an attorney.

How do you define a service mark or trademark?

A trademark can be a word or phrase, a symbol, design, or any combination that distinguishes goods from different brands and identifies goods with their specific brand.

A service mark is the same as a trademark, but it identifies and distinguishes a source of a particular service.

Can trademarks, copyrights, or patents be used to protect the same thing?

Intellectual property can be protected in different ways by patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

No. Intellectual property differs; therefore, they are protected in different ways by patents, copyrights, and trademarks. A trademark usually protects brand names or logos on goods and services. Copyrights are rights that protect an original artistic or literary work. Patents protect inventions.

You would, for example, apply to patent a vacuum cleaner invention. You might apply for trademark registration to protect the brand of a vacuum cleaner. A copyright may be registered for the TV commercial in which the product is advertised.

How are domain names, trademark registrations, and business name registrations different?

A domain name is a part of a URL that links to an internet protocol address (IP Address) for a specific website. A trademark is not similar to a domain name. A brand is a way to identify products or services from a particular source. A domain name used only in a web address is not considered source-indicating trademark use.

However, trademark use may be made for other prominent uses than the web address. If you register a domain with a domain registration company, you do not have any trademark rights. You could, for example, be required to register a specific domain name with a registrar if it is infringing someone else’s trademarks.

A business name cannot be used as a trademark, but other business names used to provide goods and services might qualify it as a trademark. Many states and local jurisdictions can either register business names to obtain a business registration certificate or an assumed business name filing.

To establish a business entity such as a limited liability corporation or corporation in a state where your business is located, you may file documents with the state corporation commission company.

Your entity would be called XYZ, Inc. If no other company is applying for the same name in the state and you have met all other requirements, the state would likely issue you a certificate and operate under that name.

The state’s approval to create a business under a particular name doesn’t give you trademark rights. However, other parties might later attempt to block your use of the name if they think there is a likelihood of confusion with their trademarks.