Trademark Clearance Search Guide (Step 1 Before Trademark Registration)

Updated: Jun 14

By: Trademark Attorney Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth

Registering a trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has many benefits including preventing others from using a similar mark, increasing a company's valuation, and reducing legal fees and the risk of lawsuits.

Conduct your own free knockout search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website before you choose a trademark.

The trademark clearance search on the USPTO website shows you if there are any marks that are an exact match (or plural) to the mark you enter into the search field.

This is a free way to check to see if another company is using the same name, slogan, or design that you want.

It can help you decide on a mark before you reach out to an attorney.

However, this search is limited because it only shows exact matches. You can be sued if your mark is *too similar* to another mark.

Therefore you should still have an attorney check all federal registrations, federal applications, state business listings, and common law searches for the relevant international classes.

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