What is the Trademark Electronic Search System?

The Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) is a public online database that can be used for searching United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) pending and registered trademarks. TESS contains both active and inactive trademark registrations, as well as applications. However, TESS does not contain any records of common law marks or state-based registrations not registered with the USPTO. 

 Uses for TESS

You can use TESS to check for similar pending trademark applications and registered marks prior to applying for a trademark in order to lessen the risk of getting a likelihood of confusion refusal to register. TESS allows you to perform basic word mark searches and design mark searches. The system is split into three search interfaces: 1) basic word mark search, 2) structured search, and 3) free-form search. The basic word mark search is the simplest interface to use and is best for searches based on the words in the mark, the serial or registration numbers of the mark, or the owner name. The structured search is a bit more advanced than the basic word mark search and allows you to craft searches based on a variety of fields (such as international class numbers, goods and services, and mark descriptions) and assists you in formatting your search criteria. Lastly, the free-form search is the most advanced searching option and requires you to independently set up your search. Instructions for each of these search types can be found on the USPTO’s website at https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/searching-trademarks/using-trademark-electronic-search-system.

 More Information about the Trademark Electronic Search System

TESS is accessible through the USPTO’s website at https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database. The USPTO also provides tips on TESS at https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/searching-trademarks/tess-tips

Trademark Legal Services

Our trademark attorneys offer comprehensive trademark and brand development services including: 

See our Trademark Registration Process for an overview of the trademark process from a search through registration of a trademark.  See also our Trademark Cost & Pricing Options for a discussion of how much a trademark costs and how we bill for our services.

See our Legal FAQs page for the answers to more intellectual property law questions.

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