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How to Research US Trademarks on the Web

US Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) contains the records of pending and registered US trademarks. TESS also includes the records of dead US trademarks since January 1, 1984. TESS does not include common law, state, or foreign trademarks. The fact that a mark is not present in the TESS database does not necessarily mean that the mark is not currently being used as a trademark. The date of last update for TESS is indicated on the search screens. The search strategies presented in this handout are preliminary and should not be considered comprehensive. It is strongly suggested that you read all help screens in TESS to learn about additional search techniques.

If you have any questions regarding the adoption or use of a trademark, it is strongly recommended that you consult an attorney.

Instructions for Searching the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS):

1. Point your browser to and click on the search icon (see below).

wpe1.jpg (78916 bytes)


2. Click on Structured Form Search (see below).

Select The Search Form
* Structured Form Search
* Free Form Search (Advanced Search)
* Browse Dictionary

3. From the two drop-down menus below Title Field select Basic Index (combined MP+PM+FM) and Translation Index (see below).

4. From the drop-down menu below Operator select OR.

5. From the drop-down menu to the right of Plural select Yes. Selecting Yes will expand your search to include s or es endings of words.

6. In both boxes below Search Term type in your search terms, enclose them in quotation marks, and click Submit Query (see below).

Search History
Please enter search criteria in the fields below: Records Returned: Plural:
Search Term Title Field Operator

Search Tips

"Red Dog"
Search terms enclosed in quotation marks are searched as a phrase. For example the search "Red Dog" will only retrieve trademarks containing the phrase Red Dog.
This search yields 25 results.
Red AND Dog
Search terms separated by AND retrieve only trademarks containing both words. For example the search Red AND Dog will only retrieve trademarks containing both words Red and Dog.
This search yields 33 results.

****Avoid using a space or OR between your search terms****

Red Dog
Red OR Dog
Search terms separated by a space or by an OR will retrieve any
trademark containing either or both words. The results will be very broad and imprecise.
This search yields 8560 results.

Run searches on "unique" words by themselves.

"Zapps Potato Chips" Yields 0 results

Zapps AND Potato AND Chips Yields 0 results

Zapps Yields 28 trademarks

Search multiple combinations of hyphenated or compound words.

"stop-n-go" Yields 2 results

"stop n go" Yields 10 results

"stopngo" Yields 0 results

stop AND go Yields 44 results

Search other spellings of words that sound the same, but are spelled differently.

Quick, qwik, quik, kwik, kwick qwick, etc.

Bear, bayer, bare, etc.

Search for synonyms of words.

Quick, fast, speedy, etc.


7. After submitting your query, a list of trademarks matching your search parameters will appear on the screen. Click on the Serial Number of each trademark to view detailed information.

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Live/Dead Indicator
1 75582868   RED DAWG BOOTS DEAD
2 75786457   RED DOG LIVE
3 75392564 2265658 RED DOG RULES LIVE
4 75266486 2171067 RED DOGS LIVE
5 75247494 2237412 RED DOG GARNET LIVE
7 74641583 2169830 RED DOG LIVE

8. When looking at the detailed information of a trademark (see below) pay special attention to the GOODS AND SERVICES field. Goods and Services describe how a trademark is used in commerce and based on this description, you will need to decide whether or not your idea for a trademark is too similar. Dead trademarks are no longer registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but it may be wise to determine if a dead mark is still used in commerce (contact the owner) because common law rights to a trademark could come into play.

Word Mark RED DOGS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting professional football games for live audiences, television and radio broadcast and videotape replay. FIRST USE: 19961201. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19961201
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75266486
Filing Date March 31, 1997
Published for Opposition April 14, 1998
Registration Number 2171067
Registration Date July 7, 1998
Owner (REGISTRANT) Gridiron Enterprises, Inc. CORPORATION ILLINOIS 900 W. Jackson Boulevard, Suite 5W Chicago ILLINOIS 60602
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

9. To return to the list of results, from the detailed view of the trademark, hold [Alt] and press the "left arrow key", or click the "Back" button in your browser.

10. To do additional searches of TESS, employing the techniques mentioned above, start over at step 1.

Common Law and State Trademarks

Additionally, you may want to spend the time researching common law and state trademarks. Business directories can be searched for company names that may already be in use (under common law). A few key business directories are listed below:

D&B Million Dollar Directory REF HC102.D8
Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations REF HG4057.A4
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers REF T12.T612
Ward's Business Directory of US Private REF HG 4057.A3 W375

Individual states also grant trademarks, which offer protection in the granting state. Trademarks registered with the State of Florida can be researched via the Florida Division of Corporations' Public Access Web Database .


Every logo that is registered by the USPTO is assigned a numerical code based on each significant graphical component that comprises that logo. Design code can be determined using the USPTO's Trademark Design Code Manual, Patents T223.V15 1990 or

Read the introduction and general guidelines in the Design Code Manual to learn how to use it. Once you've determined your design code, do a Structured Form Search in TESS. Type in your design code in the box below Search Term, from the drop-down menu below Title Field select Design Code, and then click Submit Query.

Additional Information

For additional information about trademark research ask at the Reference Desk or visit the UCF Patent and Trademark Depository Library homepage at

Read the brochure "Basic Facts About Registering A Trademark", in paper at the UCF Patent and Trademark Library and online at

For help with filling out your trademark application forms call the USPTO Trademark Assistance Center at (703) 308-9000.

United States Patent and Trademark Office or (800) 786-9199

PSD 6/2000

Trademark Homepage

Last updated October 13, 2011 9:28:27 AM

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