There are several locations that should be searched before making a decision to apply for federal trademark registration. First, you should conduct a search of the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). This database includes all the trademarks federally registered with the USPTO. A comprehensive trademark search should look for identical names, similar names, identical classifications, comparable classifications, similar/identical goods or services, and status of the registered mark.
Once this search is completed, it is recommended that a domain name search, a search engine search, and in some cases, a state trademark search be conducted. This search will locate marks not registered with the USPTO, but do have priority over your mark, and thus could limit the exclusive ownership and rights in your trademark.
A comprehensive trademark search can ensure that your mark will not run into legal problems in the future as well as provide you indication as to whether or not your mark could be registered by the USPTO.
For more information, please contact a trademark attorney today to setup a free 30-minute consultation.