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Trademarks: Searching for a U.S. Trademark

Guide to understanding what a trademark is, the different types of trademarks, searching for United States registered trademarks and how to apply for one

Resources to Search for a U.S. Trademark

All information pertaining to researching U.S. trademarks is contained on the USPTO's Searching Trademarks page.  The former Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) was replaced by the new Trademark Search interface on November 30, 2023.

  • Use the Expert Search if you need to search for a logo by design code.
  • The six-digit design codes are found in the Design Search Code Manual by browsing the TABLE OF CATEGORIES or using the KEYWORD SEARCH.

If you have satisfactorily conducted a search for a word, logo or other device trademark and have found nothing similar, your search is not yet over.  You have simply determined that there is no registered U.S. trademark matching yours.  You also need to search other resources such as the internet to determine if another similar trademark is being used in commerce.  As mentioned on the introductory page there exist common law trademarks, while not registered with the USPTO, which still carry some legal precedent for the owner who can prove through documentation that they have been using the trademark longer.

Other resources to search include-