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Searching for a US Trademark in 2022: All You Need to Know

If you’re running a business, a trademark isn’t just something nice to have—it’s an essential part of your branding and identity. It protects your intellectual property against infringement and fraud.

To help you get a better idea of trademarks, search for a US trademark or similar trademarks, and more, we’ve created this handy guide.

Trademark Basics

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark as any element, such as a word, phrase, design, or combination that serves as a primary identifier for your brand and the products or services you’re offering.

It essentially serves as an identifier that helps distinguish a brand from others. It can be associated with a company’s reputation, values, and beliefs and has the potential to acquire goodwill over time.

Benefits of a Trademark and Trademark Registration

Once you start using your trademark, you become its owner. While this establishes your rights to the trademark, these rights are limited and only applicable to the region where you’re offering your products or services.

When your competitors or other companies, in general, use similar words, symbols, devices, or other identifiers, this can potentially create confusion among your target audience, which, in turn, can drive them away from your business and toward your competitors. By having a trademark and registering it with the USPTO, you can take legal action against potential or actual infringement.

Furthermore, registering a distinctive trademark can help potential customers find your business. A registered trademark can help you stand out in a sea of competition because it makes you easy to find, whether online or in physical locations.

Registering a trademark also gives a company the right to use symbols such as “TM,” “SM,” or ®. These symbols tell your audience that you’re duly registered with the USPTO. More importantly, these symbols can give a brand more credibility and can serve as a deterrent for infringement or fraud. A registered trademark can help build brand loyalty and give companies a stronger customer base.

It’s worth noting that while you’re not required to register your trademark, doing so can help you create nationwide rights for it.

Why Conduct a Trademark Search?

Creating a brand and the identifiers that go with it can be very exciting. However, because of all the excitement, you might miss out on doing one crucial thing to protect your asset: Conducting a trademark search.

A trademark search is an integral part of using and registering a trademark. It’s a database search that helps you check whether or not a mark is currently commercially used. It’s also an often overlooked step that can help you avoid legal and financial problems in the future.

Additionally, a robust trademark search can help improve your chances of successful trademark registration. One of the most critical steps in applying for a trademark registration involves a USPTO examining attorney reviewing your application. If your mark happens to have a duplicate or comes across as confusing, then your application might be rejected. Note that the USPTO will not refund your filing fees.

A trademark search also helps avoid creating confusion among your customers in the future as it allows you to identify and refrain from using existing marks that may be similar to the one you’re using.

How to Perform a US Trademark Search<