Thursday, January 16, 2014

Searching Trademark Design Codes

Dear Rich: I saw your video about trademark searching but it didn't answer my question which is how do you search to find out if somebody else is using a similar image or design. I'm not that worried about the word part of my mark, just this image. Is there a way to do that? We're using a drawing of a horse. In order to locate marks with similar designs, it helps to know the trademark design code, a 6-digit numerical code that the USPTO assigns for searching purposes. These codes can be found in the USPTO's Design Search Code Manual. Click Keyword Search, type in "horse" (or whatever best describes your image) and locate the code. In your case, the design code for "horses, donkeys and zebras" is "03.05.01". You will note that this code would not be appropriate for mythological (or winged) horses or for images of people riding horses.
You have the code, now what? Once you know the code, you can then use the Trademark Search feature on this page. Choose "Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured)". For the "Search Term," insert the code, and for the "Field" choose Design Code from the drop down.

In the second search term box, you can enter goods or services (choose "Goods or Services" from the Field drop down), information about the design such as "galloping" or "saddle" (choose Design Description from the Field drop down), or any other combo of search term and field. Make sure you choose "AND" from the Operator drop down on the right side
 After that, it's just a matter of sorting through the results as described in the video.

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