The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is an essential part of any clearance search. To search effectively in the TESS database, you must adopt a strategic approach. Using design search codes and classes can help you narrow your search, making it easier to find trademarks that may cause confusion with yours.
Using this page, you can identify classes and design search codes for your trademark class search.
You can narrow your search to trademarks that are used with related goods and services by finding out how the USPTO classifies your goods and services.
Search for trademarks with similar design elements using design search codes if your trademark will include a design or logo or use any words that can be represented by an image.
Develop an effective search
An effective search is:
Broad enough to identify all trademarks that are likely to cause confusion with yours
To limit the results you need to evaluate to a manageable number
The most relevant trademarks will appear at the top of your results if you receive an unmanageably large number of results. There are several tools that can help you narrow your search. Here are some tools you can use to learn more about them.
Narrow your search conservatively
You should narrow your search just enough to get a reasonable number of results. When you narrow your search, you are more likely to miss a conflicting trademark.
The key to narrowing your search is to be conservative. Your application will be examined for trademarks that could cause confusion with yours. In such a case, we will not be able to register the trademark, and we cannot refund the filing fee.
Classification – find trademarks used on goods and services related to yours
In a store, classifications are similar to departments. In stores, merchandise is categorized into departments to make it easier to find items such as women’s clothing, household appliances, and bed linen. As with classification, classification is a method for categorizing goods and services so that you can search TESS for similar goods and services.
There are 45 categories of goods and services. The first 34 classes are for goods, while the 35th to 45th classes are for services. There are many types of goods and services included in each class. As an example, class 25 covers clothing, while class 36 covers all insurance and financial services.
Design search codes – find trademarks that appear similar to yours
Six-digit design search codes are used to classify and search for prominent design elements in trademarks. Design elements can be anything other than words, such as birds, stars, or flowers.