The Trademark Electronic Search System allows users to search the USPTO database of registered trademarks, trademark applications, and abandoned trademarks.
The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), located on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, allows trademark attorneys, trademark owners, and the public in general to search the USPTO database of all registered and formerly registered trademarks, and live or abandoned trademark applications. TESS is an effective tool for trademark owners, or their trademark lawyers, to see if anyone is infringing their trademark rights, or if by chance they are infringing on the rights of a registered trademark.
TESS has three different search systems. The first is the Basic Word Mark Search, which is recommended for new users to the system. The second is the Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) for users looking for design or word marks. And the third is Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form), which is best for trademark attorneys and professionals familiar with using the system.
TESS homepage where users can decide which search method is best for them.
Basic Word Mark Search (New User)
The Basic Word Mark Search has the least amount of flexibility of the searches and can only search for word marks. Users can look up word trademarks by entering the word(s) they are searching, the application serial or trademark registration number, or search by trademark owner. In addition, users can search live trademark applications and registrations, dead trademark applications and registrations, or both live and dead trademark applications and registrations.
Image of the search page of the Basic Word Mark Search (New User) in TESS
Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured)
The Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) allows users to search many different types of fields including the trademark, filing date, trademark owner, goods or services, trademark application serial number and more. In addition, users can conduct two separate fields at the same time with an AND or an OR operator. When the operator is set to AND, both search fields must have hits in order for a trademark to show up in the results. If the operator is set to OR, the search results will include all the results that would show up in each search independently of each other. The Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) is a good mix of allowing for more complex searches without being too confusing for users, especially new users.
Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) with some of the searchable fields shown in the drop down menu.
Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form)
The Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form) is the most complex search system within TESS but also allows users the most flexibility to conduct narrowly tailored searches. The system allows users all the same search fields found in the Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) system but users can search all the fields in one search if they desired.
The way to search a particular field is to write what you want to search for directly before one of the trademark field codes. For example, if you want to search for the trademark JUST DO IT, you would put “JUST DO IT”[bi] into the search field. [bi] stands for basic index and is the trademark field code to search the basic index field.
Learning how to use the different trademark field codes correctly to get the best search results takes time and practice. The Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form) is the best search system in TESS for trademark attorneys and trademark professionals to conduct USPTO knockout searches. Below is an example of a more narrow search and how some of the other trademark field codes are used.
The above search is for any listed owner containing the word "apple," and the word "think" or "thinking" on the basic index, and a live trademark application/registration, and in class 9 of goods, and has computer as a listed good.
The search results of the above search yielded two results for THINK DIFFERENT, both live registrations owned by Apple, Inc. with goods in Class 9 and specifically computers listed.
Do you have any search tips or questions? Leave your comments below or contact us today!