Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trademark Info: Is it Possible to Search my Trademark for Free?

Yes and no is really the only way to answer this question. While there are some great preliminary sites anyone can access for free, that is NOT a clear cut indication of what’s out there in terms of company names, service names or product names.

Only comprehensive research will tell you if a name is truly available.

Let's take a look at some free, preliminary sites and where they fail to be comprehensive:



  • The USPTO Web Site: You'll be able to search some of the Federal trademark files at this site.

    What it's missing:
    State trademarks; Common-Law databases such as incorporation listings, DBA records, company directories, newspapers, product announcements, etc.

    What it lacks: Does NOT search intelligently (i.e. synonyms, spelling variations, word placement, etc.) unless you manually enter in those variations


  • Your Secretary of State web site: Your state may have an online searchable database.

    What it's missing:
    Federal trademarks; All other State trademark listings; Common-Law databases

    What it lacks: Provided that your state does have a searchable database, you'll want to be sure to check how often it's updated and if it searches intelligently


  • Yellow pages: SuperPages allows users to search nationwide. Simply enter the business name & leave the other fields blank.

    What it's missing: Federal AND State trademarks; Common-Law databases

    What it lacks: Does NOT search intelligently (i.e. synonyms, spelling variations, word placement, etc.) unless you manually enter in those variations

Take advantage of these free resources before hiring an attorney or private company to conduct a thorough search.

Yes, you can search your business name for free – just know that it's not comprehensive!

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