How can I Check for US Trademark Registrations?


When you file a trademark application, it’s important to know whether your mark is registered. You can check the status of your application by searching in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database at

To check for US trademarks, follow these steps:+

File a Trademark Application

A trademark application is filed to register a trademark, but there may be issues that cause the trademark office to refuse registration. If an application is refused, it will be returned to the applicant with an explanation of why it was refused. A denied application cannot be used as evidence of ownership.

What is a Registered Trademark?

A registered trademark is a legal right that allows its owner to prevent others from using the same or similar trademarks elsewhere in the United States, or even in other countries if those countries have reciprocal agreements with America. A registered trademark is also a form of government registration; this means that you can use your own name as proof that you have rights over your own intellectual property (IP).

What Types of Marks can be Registered?

Trademark registration is available for the following types of marks:

  • Trademark or Service Mark.
  • Design Mark (the appearance of a product/package).
  • Collective Mark (used by members of a group to identify goods and services).
  • Certification Mark (used in conjunction with another mark to indicate that something conforms to certain standards, such as organic foods).

What if I don’t Register my Mark?

If you don’t get your trademark registered, you can still use the mark in commerce. However, this means that anyone else can also use it if they want to. If another company uses a confusingly similar mark for goods and services that are similar to yours, it’s called “trademark infringement.”

If a company infringes on your unregistered trademark, you may not be able to sue them for damages due to a lack of evidence (you don’t have any registration). Also, if someone is infringing on one of your unregistered trademarks and they convince other people to stop working with you based on their claim over your rights (called “injunctive relief”), then getting an injunction against them might not be possible either.

Do I have to file a use-based application or can I file an intent-to-use-based application?

You have to file a use-based application if you’re using your trademark in commerce. If you’re not using your trademark in commerce, but plan to do so in the future, then you can file an intent-to-use application.

Distinctive Mark

You can determine whether your mark is distinctive, i.e., capable of functioning as a trademark or service mark in the first place, by conducting a search for similar or identical marks. If there are many other marks that are similar to yours, then it’s likely that you won’t be able to use your proposed mark. On the other hand, if there are very few similar or identical marks on record with the USPTO (for trademarks) or state agencies (for service marks), then it’s more likely that your proposed mark will be allowed.

In general terms if any of these factors apply to you:

  • Your proposed mark is inherently distinctive.
  • You intend to use the mark in interstate commerce.
  • There aren’t any conflicting prior rights (such as another party having registered their own version of the same word).

Change in Ownership of the Mark

If there is a change in ownership of the mark after it has been published for opposition and prior to abandonment, reissue, or issuance of the registration certificate, you may file a change of ownership online using TEAS. The fee will be $100.00 per class. You can also file by mail or fax. However, these methods require paying both fees above ($200 total). You can also call 202-633-9090 with any questions about filing a change of ownership by telephone submission.


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the government agency that registers trademarks. It can be difficult to determine whether a mark is available for registration and what steps you need to take in order to do so if it is not. However, by doing some research before filing your application, you can avoid common mistakes that could result in your application being rejected or delayed on its way toward registration.

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