Skip to Main Content

Patents and Trademarks : Trademarks

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

Get Patent Help!

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

For questions or to set up an appointment, email or call (608) 262-0696

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

Registering a Trademark

Federal Registration of Trademarks

Trademark Basics - watch the video

US Patent and Trademark Office – Trademark process

Conducting a trademark search. Step-by-step instructions for searching registered federal trademarks on the Trademark Office’s website.


Trademark filing information (TEAS)

State Registration of Trademarks

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Other States Trademark Information

Search US Trademarks

TESS – Trademark Electronic Search System 

  • Search more than 3 million records for pending, registered, abandoned, cancelled or expired federal trademarks
  • Records include logos or designs
  • Links to TSDR database for status information
  • Does not contain marks abandoned, cancelled or expired prior to 1983

U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual  

Design Search Code Manual

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.