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U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS): The facts

A trademark is that distinctive mark or phrase which you wouldn’t want anyone messing around with, once you have had it registered. It is always wise to have your hard-thought logos and slogans booked and registered. U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) can help you know if your proposed slogan has been booked or not, and is not misused by anyone.

The importance of using TESS

With TESS, all that you need to do is to key in a variety of slogans that you have thought about and it will inform you whether you are too late. A list of similar-sounding slogans or trademarks will also come up so that you do not sound like you deliberately aped someone else's creativity. Normally, beginning to use a name for commercial venture already exposes you to ownership, but the problem is that legally, you do not have the upper hand over the person who registers it before you. Avoidance of breaches of trademark law There have been many legal tussles regarding US patents. TESS makes it easier to avoid such breaches of trademark law. In layman sense, TESS is a search engine to check if a trade name or a TM symbol has been scooped.

Performing a basic word mark search

Once someone navigates to Tess2.uspto.gov, there is a search field for “basic word mark”. This can be used to find words and marks co-relating only to your search. Therefore, designs cannot be found by using the link. There is a separate one that can combine both the word mark and the design. There is a manual on the site which needs to be fully read and understood before performing that task.

How good should a search be?

Generally, a good search is the one which will reveal all the similar trademarks and not just those which are 100% identical. In other words, it is not fair to misspell another well-known trademark and use it on your own trade name.

Does searching guarantee registration?

This is one specific issue which many people do not understand. Simply making your own search and being satisfied that you can use some patent or trade name does not guarantee the success of a registration mark. The PTO takes your application through a process to determine how worthy your application is. It will determine if it is identical to other people's existing works and reject it as soon as a red flag is raised.

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