Searching the USPTO Database Using TESS |

Searching the USPTO Database Using TESS


I think it’s important for domain investors to search the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database before buying a domain name – even if it’s a generic name.  The USPTO operates a system called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which allows you to search for trademarks using keywords and search terms.  If there is an application for a trademark, a live trademark, or a dead trademark, the search results will have that information.  

To perform a trademark search, you need to navigate to TESS and perform a “New User Form Search.”  The results will include when a trademark was filled (and by whom), the class of trademark, how the trademark is to be used, whether the trademark is live or dead and several other important notes.  If you have any questions about whether you can register a domain name for a particular usage, its always good to consult an attorney who may be able to advise you.  This is particularly important if you plan to develop a business on the domain name.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (3)


    great find.

    i really like the web site.

    i do not smoke..but..the picture of the man rolling the tobacco almost makes me want to smoke..maybe wash the taste down with a beer patch.


    Uhhh… what picture?

    November 15th, 2007 at 4:19 pm


    Oh yeah, I love that tobacco picture too… just kidding. I must admit that I have never searched the USPTO database before buying a domain name, even though I’ve heard other domainers mention it. But I’ve never bought a high-value domain name. If I were getting ready to spend a large sum on a domain or start a business on it, I would definitely do this.

    November 15th, 2007 at 5:31 pm


    How does the TM name work. Lets say the domain name is that has been registered (R) or has a trademark (TM) and you use,, or What can you use and still be legal.

    May 21st, 2008 at 10:14 pm

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