Trademark Search

Search the USPTO Database

What you get with this starter tool:

This Starter Tool allows you to instantly search the more than 8 million records at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It'll show you whether there are any registered, live trademarks or pending trademark applications that are the same or similar to the name(s) you search.

What this search won't do: This search can't tell you if the name(s) you search would be registrable as a trademark, and it can't tell you for certain that your company's name won't violate someone else's trademark.

If trademark protection is very important to your business plan, you'll want to consult with an experienced trademark attorney and undergo what is known as a "trademark clearance search".

Who needs this starter tool:

The Trademark Search Tool is for a starter who has one or more company names in mind and wants to be sure that using those names won't infringe on someone's existing U.S. trademark.

Related resources:

Details about this starter tool:

Cost:

Included

Department:

Legal

Company Stage:

Evaluate Launch Operate

Frequently Asked Questions (5)

What's a trademark?
So glad you asked! This Starter Post explains exactly what a trademark is, and it's just a 5 minute read!
Oh no! There’s an exact (or very similar) match between my company’s name and an existing trademark -- do I need to change my company’s name?
Not necessarily! There are a couple of reasons this may be ok.

First, your company may be in a completely different type of industry from the company with the existing trademark, in which case, you should be in the clear. For example, the word “Frontier” has been trademarked by a number of different companies, including an airline (Frontier Airlines), a telecom company (Frontier Communications), and an organic herb co-op (Frontier Co-op).

Second, you may not even be using your company’s name to market your goods and services, but may instead have one or more brand names that you’ll be using. For example, The Procter & Gamble Company (the company name), markets its disposable razors as Gillette ® (the brand name and trademark). In this scenario, there’s no harm in having a company name that is identical to an existing trademark, since your use of it won’t create any confusion as to the source of your goods or services.

If, on the other hand, you intend to use your company name to market your goods or services, AND those goods or services are in the same industry as the existing trademark, you probably want to go back and choose a different company name.
How can I tell if I can trademark my company’s name, or the name of my company’s product or service?
The short answer is that there is no way to know if the name is able to be trademarked unless and until the USPTO actually registers the trademark or servicemark. A trademark lawyer or any number of trademark service providers will, for a fee, conduct what is called a “clearance search”, during which they’ll review not just the USPTO database, but all 50 states’ trademark databases, private company name databases, domain name databases, Google searches, and maybe even foreign trademark databases.

These comprehensive searches can cost several thousand dollars, and even then there are no guarantees that a proposed mark can be registered without opposition. If trademark protection is going to be critical to your company’s success, you should seek out an experienced trademark attorney in your area.
I’ve heard that I may need a “service mark”, not a trademark. Which one do I need?
This is a pretty simple distinction: trademarks refer to physical goods (think Dyson™ vacuums, Iams™ dog food, or Canon ® cameras), while service marks refer to - you guessed it - services (think Uber® ridesharing or Roto-Rooter® - for all your plumbing needs!). 

For simplicity, the word “trademark” or just “mark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks - at Startomatic, we’ll usually just use “trademark” to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
Can Startomatic register a trademark for me?
Not yet. There are a number of different ways to protect your company’s name as a trademark, including filing applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, various state trademark offices, or foreign countries’ trademark offices. 

Simply using your name in commerce can also creates a type of protection called a “common law” trademark.

The Startomatic search is only intended to help you determine if the company name you’ve chosen has an obvious potential infringement of an existing United States trademark.

© 2021 Startomatic Inc. All rights reserved.

We are not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. Use of our products and services are governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.