Use the USPTO's Design Search Code Manual before using the TESS database.

  1. Start at http://www.uspto.gov
  2. Click on "Trademarks"
  3. Click on "Design Search Code Manual"
  4. Browse or search for the elements of your logo. For example, if you have a drawing of a table inside a circle, you would want to look up the codes for both tables and circles. In this case, tables are in Furniture, Category 12, and the specific design code for a table is 12.01.07. Note that Category 26, "Geometric figures and solids", is the largest category. Note the relevant codes.
  5. Go back to http://www.uspto.gov
  6. Click on "search trademarks (TESS)"
  7. Click on "Structured Form Search (Boolean)" (provides more search options than the "Basic Search" mode).
  8. In the "Search Terms" pull-down boxes, type in the design codes for your image, removing the decimal points. For example, 12.01.07 should be typed in as 120107.
  9. Open the pull-down menus for the "Field" and select "Design Code". Submit your query.
  10. Scan the results, and open relevant trademarks.

Some questions to consider in reviewing your results:

  • Do any of the results look like your design?
  • If so, could they be confused with your product or service?
  • Is the product or service similar to yours?
  • The more unique your design is, the more likely you are to receive your trademark.