Trademark Research

A trademark search should be conducted to determine the availability of a mark (i.e., whether there is a risk of infringement). 

A thorough search will consider how the mark is used or intended to be used.  A complete list of goods and services should be provided.  Moreover, budgetary constraints should be established, as should the level of review that is required (i.e., whether to provide a simple identification of relevant marks discovered in the search, an evaluation of search results, or a formal legal opinion) and a deadline for completing the search and receiving the search results

Generally speaking, there are two types of searches, a preliminary search, also referred to as a knock-out search, and a full or comprehensive search

A preliminary search typically includes a review of federally registered marks (i.e., marks registered with the USPTO) to identify identical marks, obvious spelling variations, and marks in the same class.  A preliminary search may be conducted using the Trademark Electronic Search System, often referred to as TESS, at the USPTO. 

A comprehensive search includes a review of federally registered marks, state trademark registrations, and marks used under common law.  A comprehensive search is typically conducted using a commercial research service, such as Thomson Compumark, a business unit of Thomson Reuters, or Corporation Service Company

It should be understood that a trademark search is typically limited to the USPTO records, which will not uncover foreign or international applications.  US trademark applications may claim priority to foreign and international applications if filed within six months of the filing date of the foreign or international applications. 

The cost of a preliminary search, including an analysis of the findings and a recommendation, is typically $350 USD.

The cost of a comprehensive search, together with an analysis and recommendation, is typically about $1,000 USD

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