I need to conduct a trademark search. What are the best resources to use to make sure I don’t choose a name for my record label that is already in use?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

If you are starting a business, you need to determine whether another business is already using a trademark that is identical or similar to the one you want to use. It is how you ensure that you do not violate someone else’s trademark rights and become the defendant in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Consequences of Not Conducting a Trademark Search

If you use a trademark with enough similarities to one already in use that it could cause consumers to be confused, you may be sued. If the owner sues you, the most lenient penalty will be an injunction to stop using the trademark. If you have used the trademark for an extended period of time, long enough that the other business could characterize your activities as damaging, you may have to change your entire advertising scheme or be liable for damages from a lawsuit. 

How to Conduct a Trademark Search

You can do your own free search of trademarks registered federally at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) site: https://www.uspto.gov/main/search.html. The site has a brochure that explains how to conduct a search using the online database, and in person if you are in the Washington, DC area. This site also has alot of information on copyrights and other kinds of brand marks.

In addition to conducting a federal trademark search, there can be state law trademarks and common law trademarks. The USPTO site has a state by state listing of where to find this information. Many secretaries of state can provide this information. Additionally, there are online sites that can conduct these searches for a fee. Another good alternative would be to hire a lawyer specializing in Copyright and Trademark law.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption