How to check for a Registered Trademark?


The trademark industry has seen significant growth over the past few years, with more than half a million trademarks being registered annually. Since it is so easy to register a trademark these days, there are thousands of businesses out there that have created their own unique brand name for their products or services. Once you have decided on your ideal brand name (and registered it), it’s important to ensure it is protected from other parties trying to use the same name or something similar. The two main ways of doing this are searching the Trademarks Database and conducting searches on TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System).

There are two ways to check for a registered trademark.

There are two ways to check for a registered trademark: the free search and the more detailed TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) search. The free search is typically used for preliminary research, while the more detailed TESS search requires users to know how to use Boolean keywords and wildcards.

There are other differences between the two as well:

  • Free Search only searches for trademarks and service marks that have been registered in the U.S., while TESS includes trademarks from around the world.
  • TESS has a more detailed search than Free Search, which allows you to find specific information about each company that holds trademarks. For example, it lists which countries each company holds trademarks for (i.e., whether they’re globally registered or just within one country), when they were filed for protection, and how many marks are held per category (such as clothing or electronics).

For example, you can use TESS to check if a company name or word is registered in a specific category. For example, if you’re thinking of starting an online retail business and want to make sure that “Adidas” or “Nike” is not already trademarked by another company, then you can use the free search tool because it lists all companies that hold trademarks for those names with their respective marks listed next to them (even if they don’t actually own them). On the other hand, if you’re interested in seeing whether your potential new product name has been registered as a trademark by anyone else out there before registering yourself with your own mark–like how Apple Inc. owns “iPad”–then using TESS will allow an even more comprehensive search than what’s offered through D&B Free Search.

The TESS search requires users to know how to use Boolean keywords and wildcards. Users can also utilize the design code and image filters to narrow down the results of their trademark search.

When performing a trademark search, you will need to know how to use Boolean keywords. These are keywords that narrow down your search by using AND, OR, and NOT functions. An example of this would be: [Search Term] AND [search term]. The key is that you need to separate your words with an ampersand (&).

  • “horse” & “saddle” = all results containing both “horse” and “saddle.”
  • “pony” & “riding gear” = all results containing both pony and riding gear.

Wildcards can also be used in your Boolean searches. Wildcards act as placeholders for one or more letters in a keyword; they’re great for finding variations of words or names when there are multiple spellings or versions available (such as when searching for “Amazon”).

The TESS system does not provide a list of all registered trademarks, only those that are in active use. The most highly recommended way to find out if your proposed trademark is available is to conduct a more detailed search on the TESS system.

Whether you are planning to start a business or simply want to make sure that your company name is available, it is important to determine if the mark is already registered. The USPTO provides this service by searching its database for trademarks. When you search for your trademark, the TESS will search for similar-sounding words and phrases as well as any possible derivatives that may be relevant to your search term. It can take up to two business days before results are returned from this search engine but keep in mind that this does not guarantee that no one else has registered the same name or word before you used by someone else in association with another category of goods or services.

If a trademark exists:

  • Your application will be rejected unless you have consent from the owner of the conflicting trademark; or
  • You will need an additional statement associated with your application explaining why there was no conflict when applying for your trademark registration

As an alternative, most provincial and municipal offices allow users to register their business names. Businesses are required to register at the municipal level if they operate in one location within the municipality, while businesses with multiple locations must register on a provincial level. However, registering a business name does not grant trademark rights, nor does it grant intellectual property protection.

Trademarks cannot be renewed indefinitely, but as long as you provide proof of use every 10 years your trademark will remain active.

You may wish to renew your trademark registration after 10 years. If so, you will have to file a renewal application with the USPTO before it expires. You can do this online or by mail.

Unlike copyrights and patents that allow for perpetual protection for an invention or creative work like a sculpture or painting, trademarks are only protected for as long as they are used in commerce. The renewal procedure allows trademark owners to extend their rights beyond the initial term of ten years from its date of first use in commerce by filing a timely renewal application on time every ten years at least three months prior to the expiration date of the mark’s registration term


The search tools we’ve described above are just a few of the many tools available to help you check if your trademark is registered. There are also other resources available online. We hope that this article helps in answering any questions you had regarding whether a trademark has already been registered. Best of luck!

Start your Trademark

Register Your Trademark & Get The Delivery of your USPTO Serial No. In 24 Hours

Related Posts

How Front-End Developers Can Benefit From Trademark Registration In 2023
How Front-End Developers Can Benefit From Trademark Registration In 2023
How to start an Agriculture Business in USA
How to start an Agriculture Business in USA
How to Start a Business in Utah
How to Start a Business in Utah
How to Start a Business in Texas
How to Start a Business in Texas

USPTO Trademark Filing in Just $49

Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours