How to Search Trademark Names for Restaurants

By Brenna Davis

A trademark is a phrase, tagline, name, word or design -- or some combination of these elements -- that is unique. Registered trademarks are protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and entities that misappropriate these marks can be subject to trademark infringement lawsuits. Many restaurant names are trademarked, often with a logo or image associated with the name to make the trademark more distinctive. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a search engine that allows people to check and see if a trademark has already been registered.

A trademark is a phrase, tagline, name, word or design -- or some combination of these elements -- that is unique. Registered trademarks are protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and entities that misappropriate these marks can be subject to trademark infringement lawsuits. Many restaurant names are trademarked, often with a logo or image associated with the name to make the trademark more distinctive. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a search engine that allows people to check and see if a trademark has already been registered.

Step 1

Use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Electronic Search Service to search for trademarks. To locate this page, visit the Patent and Trademark Office home page and click on "Search for Trademarks" in the top left corner of the page.

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Step 2

Check for restaurant names, using the Trademark Electronic Search System's Basic Word Mark Search. Add an asterisk around the search terms to search for common variations of the term. For example, the search term *gentlem* might return the words gentleman, gentlemen and other similar terms. You can search for both plural and singular versions of the term as well as both live and dead trademarks, but you should not add apostrophes to search terms.

Step 3

Check for restaurant names associated with a design using the Word and/or Design Mark Search (structured version) to search for restaurant names that are associated with a design. In the "field" section of the search results, you can select specific search results you would like to see, such as the description of the mark or date trademarked. You can also select the option to see plural versions of the design mark.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now
How to Use TESS for Trademark

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Check a Name for a Trademark

The primary reason to conduct a trademark search is to avoid using a name for your business that cannot be registered with the federal or state government. Before using the name, it is important to check whether the name, or a very similar name, is currently in use. You can check the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for federally registered trademarks. State registered trademarks can be checked in the records of the state agency overseeing trademark registration. You should also research the market area where you do business to search for unregistered trademarks currently in use.

How to Find Out If a Name Has Been Trademarked

Trademarks need not be registered to receive legal protection. The process of trademarking names involves determining the current use of the name, service or goods associated with the use, and geographic location, including international locations, of the person or business using the name you wish to trademark. You can trademark a name when your product or service differs from its current use -- and the geographic region you plan to cover is different from the territory used by the current name holder. Researching trademarked names, and names in current use, requires the exploration of a number of outlets and publications, including government and private print and online resources and databases.

What Are the Four Parts to Obtaining a Trademark?

Your trademark tells your customers that your products come from you. It distinguishes your goods and services from those of others. You can select a word, phrase, symbol, design or any combination of these elements to serve as your trademark. The strongest trademark is a fanciful, made-up word or image that is not confusingly similar to another party's goods. There are four basic steps to obtaining a trademark.

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