The main purpose of a trademark search is to find out whether
someone else has already trademarked your intended mark previously.
The same trademark won't be registered twice
When you are ready and file the trademark application, the USPTO will conduct a trademark search of their entire records. But this search is being done as part of the examination process, not for the benefit of the applicant. They are looking for a legitimate reason to reject your application if that is the case. Therefore do a trademark search before you file your application, and this will save your time and money. There won't be any refund fees from USPTO after the application is filed.
Trademark Search Online
Filing a trademark application is easy, yet the online trademark search is more convenient. You can simply use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) website to find pending trademark applications, registered trademarks in the United States. Application in paper forms is not quickly processed and it will cost 50 dollars or more. You will also need to keep in mind that there are federal trade mark dilution statutes to protect someone's trademark from being used by other companies or people.
Use The Library
You can do a trademark search at any Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) in person. PTDLs are located in every state and you can use their search facilities which is mostly free of charge.
Searching For Graphic Marks
In case your mark includes a visual design element, you will need to search for it by using a design code. In order to locate the proper design code(s), consult the Design Search Code Manual.
Ensure to check the current status of any application or registration for potential conflicts with the TARR system. Even though a mark is not present in the database, it does not necessarily mean that the mark is not currently used as a trademark. You will have to do a common law search to find it.
Common Law Search
The main purpose of a common law search is to find out if a mark is already being used by others when they have not filed for federal trademark registration.
Usually a common law search for trademarks involves searching beyond government records, including but not limited to checking phone directories, yellow pages, industrial directories, state trademark registers, the Internet, and more.
In order to establish rights in a trademark, federal registrations are not required. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark. Generally, whoever does first to either use a mark in commerce or file an intent to use application with the USPTO will have the ultimate right to use and registration.
If you would like to file an application, there are Free Legal Forms online for download and you can save onto your local drive as a PDF format and they are free to use. Most popular Trademark Forms are available such as Trademark Application, Trademark Drawing, Assignment of Trademark and Withdrawal of Trade Name. Those forms are often used for applying trademark and it would be beneficial to keep the copies of them.