Searches for patents and trademarks are useful since they can save an
applicant time and money. Searches may be conducted at the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia, by visiting the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website,
or at Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) nationwide. Locate
a PTRC near you.
The Main Library Information Services Section (5th floor) houses the PTRC for
Broward County and several surrounding counties that do not have a PTRC. There
are specialized materials that are only available in the Information Services
Section or at other PTRCs. Furthermore, the staff in the Information Services
Section receives specialized training and is knowledgeable in how to find
answers to a variety of intellectual property questions.
Performing a good trademark search can be useful. One reason for doing a
trademark search is that one of the criteria for obtaining a trademark is that
it must not be confusingly similar to other marks. There are various
reasons why the USPTO may refuse to register a mark, and likelihood of
confusion is one of them. Another reason for doing a trademark search is to
discover potentially conflicting marks belonging to others who have been using
their marks with similar products or services whether they have a Federal
registration, a State registration, or a common law mark without registration.
Although searching for Federal trademarks and many state trademarks is
possible on the Internet, searching for patents or trademarks should be
initiated at a PTRC. Trademark searching on the Internet may be complicated for
novice searchers, especially when searching for logos. Searchers who visit a
Patent and Trademark Resource Center will find information regarding the USPTO's
recommended search steps provided in their web page
Conducting a Trademark Search page.
It is important to note that if a trademark is not found in the USPTO
trademark database, it does not necessarily mean that the trademark is available
for use. In the U.S., trademark rights are conferred by use and it is not
necessary to register a trademark, although registration does offer certain
benefits. If no similar mark has been found in this database, further searching
is recommended. A more exhaustive search of state registrations, industry and
trade association directories, phone books, and other sources of common law
trademark and trade name information should be initiated.
The more searching you do the better the indication you will have as to
whether your word or phrase is available to be used/registered. You may wish to
consult an attorney before applying for a trademark.
Staff is available to assist in the use of these materials, but will not
perform a trademark search nor offer advice, interpretation, or opinion
regarding the registrability of a mark.
For more information about trademarks please see Basic
Facts about Trademarks (disponible en Español con la edición titulada
Protegiendo su Marca) at the USPTO's website.
State of Florida - Trademark by Name Search – Website for the State of
Florida which allows users to search for State of Florida Trademarks.
Additional Florida Corporation information may be found at the
Sunbiz.org Florida Division of Corporations
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – This
United Nations agency is "responsible for the promotion of the protection of
intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among" member
countries "and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing
with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property."
U.S. Court of Appeals – This
court has jurisdiction to entertain appeals for decisions issued by the
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Recursos en Español para Registrantes de
Marcas – Información acerca de marcas en Español (Information about
trademarks in Spanish).
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Trademark Basics - USPTO’s web page for
basic information about trademarks.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Trademark Information Network (TMIN) –
USPTO’s video tutorials on various aspects of trademark information. These
short videos with a newscast theme are very informative yet very entertaining,
and very useful to anyone interested in obtaining a trademark registration.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark News & Notices – USPTO’s web page
for news announcements related to trademarks.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Trademark Official Gazette - USPTO’s web
page for the Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG), which is published each Tuesday
and contains bibliographic information and a representative drawing for each
mark published for opposition, along with a list of cancelled and renewed
registrations. Archived editions may be found at
Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG) - Archived Editions.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Trademarks - Laws & Regulations - Rule Making
– Sorted by year, this page includes requests for public comments on proposed
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) – USPTO's website for searching
registered and pending trademark records. To access, click link to reach USPTO
website and use the Quick links option to select TESS Search trademark database.
World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) – This United Nations agency is "responsible for the
promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world
through cooperation among" member countries "and for the administration of
various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects
of intellectual property." International Trademark Information may be found at
Madrid – The International Trademark
Other Trademark Sites of Interest
All About Trademarks – Website from a
law firm providing information on trademarks including the legal aspects of
trademarks and links to State Trademark offices among other information.
Broward County Library Online Resources – Reference business databases
available through the Broward County Library website. Includes Business
State Trademark Information from FindLaw – This site provides links to all
50 states and the District of Columbia, for their respective State Trademark
Thomas Register of American
Manufacturers – Online directory of U.S. manufacturers for supplemental
Trademark Databases of the World –
This page from the Patent and Trademark Resource
Center Association (PTRCA) website provides links to trademark searching
resources including State Trademark information as well as some links to
international intellectual property offices.
(from the USPTO Kids Pages) – MP3 files of selected trademarks that are embodied
in sound and are available for listening.
U.S. Trademark History Timeline – A website from the Houston PTRC giving an
historical look at trademarks in U.S. history. The timeline also includes a look
at the use of identifying marks from prehistoric times to the modern age.
Please send your questions and comments about these
sites and suggestions for other sites to