I like to think of a free trademark check as the very first step in the trademark search and clearance process. It provides some basic information that helps determine whether it makes sense to take the next step and conduct a comprehensive federal trademark search to potentially find conflicts, issues, and other problems that could negatively affect the cost, time frame, and ability to successfully register your trademark. Without question, everyone should at least do a quick trademark check before adopting, using, and applying to register a name, phrase, or slogan. I also firmly believe that everyone should do one prior to hiring a trademark attorney. This is because you don’t want to pay a few hundred dollars in legal fees just for your attorney to find an obvious conflict in two minutes that you would have easily found had you first performed a trademark check yourself.
You want to conduct a US trademark search in order to determine the availability of a particular trademark for your exclusive use and registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A US trademark search also helps to minimize the chances of being successfully sued for trademark infringement by someone who owns rights in an identical or confusingly similar trademark. In turn, it reduces the risk of losing the goodwill and public recognition associated with your valuable trademarks, not to mention the significant amount of money and time you put into creating and publicizing your trademarks and building your brand awareness.