Step 1 – Go to the USPTO website
Step 2 – Search TM database (TESS)
- Click on the “Trademarks” tab.
- It will reveal subnav options.
- Click on option 3, “Search TM database.”
Step 3 – Select the New User Search Form
- When you get to the landing page of the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), click on the first option, “New User Form Search (Basic).”
- You can experiment with the other search forms later, but the basic search form is easy and works great.
Step 4 – Enter your search term
- Type your word into the provided field and hit the “Submit Query” button.
- In this example, we’re looking up trademarks for the word “Cornerstone.”
Step 5 – Review your results
- The USPTO will generate a full list of every trademark for companies, products and services in every industry, both active (LIVE) trademarks and DEAD ones.
- In this example, there are 447 live and dead trademarks for “Cornerstone.”
Step 6 – Refine your search
- To limit your search results to just trademarks in the financial industry, you have to modify your search. In the “Refine Search” field, add this: “and 036[IC].” What you’re doing is telling the system to just search trademarks in “International Class 036,” whish is the USPTO’s category for financial services.
- Note: For some reason, TESS adds parentheses and the word [COMB] in brackets to your search term. Add your refined search parameters after this.
- If you want to look at the complete list of the USPTO’s International Classes, you can check them out here, on page 3. They have categories for lubricants (004), rubber goods (017), and toys (028).
Step 7 – Review your refined search
- You used to have 447 records to sort through – too many!
Now you have only 124 – much more manageable.
- You can refine your search even further, because your 124 records include both LIVE (active) trademarks and DEAD (abandoned) trademarks.
Step 8 – Refine your search even further
- To only display LIVE (active) trademarks, add the following into the “Refine Search” field: “and LIVE[LD]”
Step 9 – Review your final results
- Now you’re looking at only LIVE trademarks for “Cornerstone” in the financial industry.
- You’ve cut your results from 447 in all industries, to 124 in just financial services, to now only 60 (that’s still a lot of “Cornerstones.”
Step 10 – Examine specific records
- You can click on any record to get greater details.
- This record says this specific “Cornerstone” focuses on real estate trust services, REITs, etc.