Trademarks

Patent and Trademark Resource Center logo

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.


Links to Websites on Trademarks

Official Sites

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 regulatory rulemaking.

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 System


 

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 Reference Databases.

State Trademark Information from FindLaw – This site provides links to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, for their respective State Trademark information.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers – Online directory of U.S. manufacturers for supplemental searching.

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.

Trademark Soundmarks (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 answer@browardlibrary.org.​​