I have been successful in both the research for and registration
of several trademarks. This process can be quite simple or very
complex, depending on the trademark. Graphics are the most
difficult to research, names are much easier. I did this several
years ago and there may be changes in the process I am not aware
Here is the place to start. You must find a library that has
the search system for trademarks on CD. I suggest you contact a
local law library, or library affiliated with a law school.
Access to this system should be free; however, access time may be
somewhat limited due to demand. Though staff or volunteers, are
forbidden to give you any advice or legal assistance, they are
most frequently able to guide you in the use of the system.
There should also be a hard copy set of reference materials that
may help you as well. Specifically, there is a book on the
trademarking process. Here is the government page that will
guide you to requesting forms, and a list of the
I found the materials at the library to be very thorough and
useful. Be prepared to spend many hours but it is not really
Once you are certain you will not be infringing on anyone’s
trademark you can proceed with the paperwork. A thorough search
is important. If there are technicalities that prohibit your
successful registration, you will receive a letter explaining.
Realize that our definition of explaining and theirs may not be
quite aligned. Sometimes this can take a bit of untangling. You
are then given the opportunity to provide further or
evidence. However, if you do “infringe,” if I recall correctly,
you will likely be rejected and lose your registration fee and
will have to start from scratch. Hence, the search process is
quite a cost saving factor.
When you submit, you will be asked to provide documentation of
your trademark used in commerce. The technicalities of this are
explained in the book. After all is submitted, be prepared to
wait for a good, long while for a response, probably months.
There are many little details you must pay attention to in this
process. However, if you attend to these details with as much
care and patience as you must for those in your work, you will
Finally, approval of your trademark is by no means the end of
the process. You must renew or will loose the trademark and have
to begin from scratch once again. I am quite uncertain as to the
number of years until renewal; however, five strikes me without
having to look it up. There is no grace given here. You miss
it, you loose it. I don’t recall that there is a fee involved
Please remember that this should in no way serve as
legal advice, simply a description of the process. I have no
legal training, simply a healthy curiosity and a desire to do for
myself that which I feel competent in doing. Admittedly, saving
hundreds of dollars provides a bit of stimulation. I wish you
fulfillment in the process and much success.