One of the most common reasons trademark applications are rejected is because the applied-for trademark is too similar to an already registered one and there’s a likelihood of confusion. This means that customers are likely to think your goods or services come from the same source as another party’s goods or services. So, before you apply to register a trademark, search to see if someone else already registered that trademark or a similar one.
This means conducting a clearance search, which typically involves searching our Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) of federally registered and applied-for trademarks, state trademark databases, and the internet. Although the trademark examining attorney assigned to your application will also conduct a search, they will only determine whether there are conflicting trademarks in our database. So, you should be aware of any other potentially conflicting trademarks. It’s your responsibility to search state trademark databases and the internet.
By researching whether someone has already registered or applied for the trademark you want, you can help avoid costly and time-consuming issues. You can also find out if the trademark you want is too similar to someone else’s. Learn about possible grounds for refusal of your trademark.
We have resources that can help you search our database of registered and pending trademarks:
- Discover our Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and what to expect.
- Get ready to search by learning how to find trademarks that appear too similar to yours.