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Patents and Trademarks : Trademarks

A guide to information on patents and trademarks, patent searching, inventor resources and UW intellectual property resources.

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Steenbock Library is a USPTO Patent & Trademark Resource Center. Read about our Patents & Trademark services.

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What is a Trademark?

A trademark (or "service mark") is a word, phrase, symbol or design which identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of another. There is no requirement that you register a trademark with your state or the USPTO to make a good or service publicly available; however, federal registration has the following benefits: 

  • Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner's claim.
  • Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
  • Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
  • Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
  • Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

USPTO Trademarks FAQ

Search US Trademarks

USPTO Trademark Search 

Trademark ID Manual 

  • Find classes associated with goods or services. Then use the class filter in Trademark Search (in Expert Search mode) to limit results to relevant goods and services. 

Trademark Design Search Manual

  • Find design codes for visual design elements (e.g., a code for all trademarks that include "Dogs rendered only as outlines, shadows, or silhouettes"). Then use the design codes in Trademark Search to find all marks that that use these elements. 

Search International Trademarks

WIPO Global Brand Database
Search trademarks, appellations of origin, and official emblems from multiple national and international sources by text or image.

WIPO Monitor
Monitor the status of international trademark applications made under WIPO’s Madrid System.

Registering a Trademark

Federal Registration of Trademarks

State Registration of Trademarks