Skip to main content
Logo Search: Trudging through the USPTO

Searching for designs on the USPTO site is a bit tricky. I'll explain it step by step.

First, go to this link. This is the searchable design search code manual. Type in simple keywords that describe your logo. For instance, typing in telephone brings up the 6-digit codes for telephones, telephone poles, answering machines, etc. Make note of all the 6-digit codes relevant to your logo.

Second, go to this link. This is the main trademark hub page. From here you'll see 2 columns. Look at the right hand side for a link that's titled Search. Click on that.

Now click on Structured Form Search (boolean). In the first search term box, type in the 6-digit code, no spaces & no dots. Change the field to Design Code. Stopping here will likely result in too many hits to look at so let's use the rest of the search boxes to narrow it a bit.

Change the operator to AND. In the next search term box, choose one keyword that describes your goods/services, e.g. clothing, software, etc. Change the field to Goods & Services. Now click Submit Query.

You should then see a listing of marks that you can view in more detail.

I've been in the trademark field for 14 years & I do not recommend that anyone conduct this logo search & consider themselves to be done. There are so many nuances within the USPTO as well as with trademarks in general that the likelihood of missing something is high. However, I feel the above provides a good snapshot of how involved searching logos can be & is a nice primer for those folks interested in protecting their logo.

You've got to keep the USPTO's guidelines in mind. Logos need not necessarily be exact to be considered a similarity. They take into consideration things such as similarities in Appearance or Meaning as well as similarity in industry. Your logo may look like one definite thing to you but you have to emotionally detach yourself from it & see all the inherent possibilities. It's those possibilities that will also have to be searched.


Popular posts from this blog

Trademark 101: State Trademark or Federal Trademark?

Now that you know what a trademark is, what a trademark isn’t, and that you should get a trademark, let’s explore if a State trademark or Federal trademark is most appropriate for your needs.
For the USA, trademarks can be obtained either at the State level or the Federal level. So, which do you need? I’ll explain both and that’ll give you a clearer picture as where to go from here.
First and foremost, a State trademark gives you trademark protection for that specific state whereas a Federal trademark gives you trademark protection nationwide. Simple enough, yes? But, which is the right trademark for your needs?
1)Are you actively in business? 2)Are you only doing business in one city or county or just statewide?
If you answered yes to both, then exploring a State trademark is your next step. Here are some advantages to a State trademark:
·The right to expand statewide. The name will be waiting for you in other metros. ·If another mark is infringing upon yours within the state, you’ll have a…

Trademark 101: Should You Trademark?

Now that we know what a trademark is and is not, let’s dive into the next logical question: should you trademark?
The easiest way to answer this question is to look at your business and your plans for it.
-Is the name, logo, or slogan an integral part of your business? -Are you doing business on a statewide or nationwide or international level? If you’re only doing business citywide or countywide, do you see potential for geographical growth? -Would another business in your industry using the same or similar name hurt your business? In other words, is it possible you’d lose customers if someone had the same or similar name in your industry?
If you answered yes to any of the above then exploring a trademark is the way to go.
Here’s what a US Federal trademark gives you:
·A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration (whereas a state registration only provides rights…

Trademark 101: What Isn’t a Trademark?

Yesterday’s post was all about what a trademark is so today we’re going to talk about what a trademark is not. Knowing both sides of that coin will give you a clear idea if a trademark is right for you or not.
Let’s use yesterday’s examples as a jumping off point:
·PEACE is the name of your new clothing line and your logo is the peace sign. Both of these things appear on the tags that are attached to the clothing items. You have a variety of designs and sayings that appear on the front of your clothing items, e.g. the front of a t-shirt.
·LOVE is the name of your daycare services. Your slogan, Love blooms here, appears on the web site, the brochures for new parents, the signage inside & outside of the facility. There are also multiple heart designs, created by you, used in your advertisements.
·HAPPINESS is the name you use for your invention, a new kind of food processor. You have stacks & stacks of technical documents explaining how your invention works and every page has the n…