A trademark search is typically just that - a search of Registered and common law trademarks already in use. Typically, a comprehensive trademark search is conducted on each potential trademark by an attorney specializing in trademark and patent matters. The resulting research report is used by you and your patent - trademark attorney to determine if your intended trademark stands a good chance of being registered. This type of research locates not only trademarks identical to your trademark in all classes of goods and services, but also "confusingly similar" trademarks in classes pertinent to your product, service or industry. Cost varies with the quality of the search, from $25 to $500.
WHO IS PERFORMING YOUR SEARCH? This is the single most important question you should be asking when considering a trademark search. There are very inexpensive data bases which allow you to perform a cheap or even free search. However the data is generally old, and if you don't know what the term "confusingly similar" means, or the other 8 statutory reasons for rejection, you probably are not qualified to run your trademark search. Such sites are good to help eliminate exact matches for your proposed trademark or at least identify them. However, the standard for rejection of trademarks by the Patent Office is very subjective and only an experienced trademark attorney can give you a reasonable opinion of your chances of success.
There are also numerous companies which will perform a trademark search for you. However, most such firms know little more than you do about the criteria for registration at the patent office. They have a clerk running a computer search for similar terms to yours. The clerk, not being a patent attorney or trademark attorney, has never filed or prosecuted a trademark in their career, but is great on a keyboard. They may be using the same inexpensive data bases that you can use yourself. Finally, such firms usually don't have an experienced trademark attorney directing, and reviewing the search, and providing you a formal opinion with your results. However, a professional experienced opinion and professional guidence through the trademark search and trademark application process is what you need to make a good business decision on a topic you know next to nothing about.
The Cost of a Refused Trademark Application is More Than Just Money
If you are planning to open a new company or introduce a new product, it is a prudent move to search the name, prior to printing up thousands of dollars worth of stationary, brochures and advertisements. It is also prudent to use a firm that offers up to date data and a review of the search and opinion letter from a Registered Patent & Trademark Attorney. The trademark process will take the better part of a year to complete. It is not only the money for the trademark you are risking. You are taking the risk that a year will pass and your trademark will be refused. Worse yet, a year will pass and you might find out that someone else owns the trademark you seek and you are infringing! Since you can't buy back that year of time, and advertising, and trade shows, it is imperative that you know, going into the process, that the trademark you seek does not infringe, and, can be registered to your company. Having a professional handle the trademark search and trademark application process is worth it.
Trademark Searches from Our Office
The Patent & Trademark Law Center offers Federal Trademark Searches for $125 and State Trademark Searches for $100. Combined searches of State and Federal trademarks are $200. A free discussion about your trademark search - trademark registration by Telephone or in person is available, and forms are available online, by fax, or by mail.
Patent Attorney Supervised Searches Using Only Up to Date Data
Should you have multiple trademarks you are considering, we also offer discounts, and, should your first trademark search fail, we will run the second one for half price. Feel free to contact our office by phone for your trademark needs.