Trademark Electronic Search System

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The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is available through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, and the system allows users to search "the USPTO's database of registered trademarks and prior pending applications."[1] TESS offers the following search options:[1]

  • Basic Word Mark Search - This option cannot be used to search design marks. After selecting the basic option from the TESS homepage, the system will open a fielded search form, with a drop-down menu displaying the search history at the top of the form. The user can select the "Structured" option in the blue horizontal menu at the top of the page to switch to the advanced fielded search form. Select to search "plural and singular" or only singular terms and both Live and Dead, only Live, or only Dead trademarks. A single search form is available where users can enter a query term and select the field (or group of fields) from a drop-down menu. The users may also specify via a drop-down menu that the results must contain all search terms (AND), any search terms (OR), or the exact phrase.
  • Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured) - This option is used to search word and/or design marks. You must first use the Design Search Code Manual to look up the relevant Design Codes. After selecting the advanced structured option from the TESS homepage, the system will open a fielded search form, with a drop-down menu displaying the search history at the top of the form. Select the "New User" option in the blue horizontal menu at the top of the page to switch to the basic fielded search form. This advanced search form includes the option to define how many records are returned in the search results per page (100-500), and the user can also choose to automatically search for plural versions of terms. Two text forms are available, connected by a Boolean operator (which the user can select from a drop-down menu). Drop down menus are positioned adjacent to each text box where the user can select from all available fields.
  • Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form) - This option allows you to construct word and/or design searches using Boolean logic and multiple search fields. You must first use the Design Search Code Manual to look up the relevant Design Codes. This form functions as a command line interface where the user can construct complex queries using all available field codes and operators. See the chart of US Trademark Field Codes below the form for reference on available fields, and select a field code to view further instructions on constructing the query with that field code. The chart links to various sections of the TESS Help Menu, which provides the user with full, detailed guidance on constructing search queries using the system syntax. Above the command line form, users can define the number of records returned per page (100-500) and whether or not to automatically search for plurals.

Users should note that when the drop-down menu titled "View Search History" is displayed above any of the search forms, the user may select a past query to re-run. The full syntax for the query, as well as the number of records retrieved, is displayed for each past search string.

After conducting a search, the user is taken to a hit list that displays the serial number, registration number, word mark, and status (Live/Dead) for each result. A link is also provided for each result to check the trademark's status on the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) server. Between 100 and 500 results are displayed per page (depending on the options selected by the user on the search form). Above the hit list, the user can opt to start the list at a particular record number or jump to a specific record number. The user may also edit the syntax of their query directly from the hit list to refine the result. Below the "refine" text box, the hit list displays the current query, total number of records, and total number of occurrences.

Use the menu at the top of the page to navigate to the next or previous pages of results by selecting "Prev List" or "Next List." Choose the "Image List" option to view a hit list displaying visual representations of the mark. Select the "Back to Hit List" option to return to the original hit list display.

Select a record title to view the full record for a trademark. The full record includes:

  • A link to the trademark's status on TARR
  • A link to the ASSIGN status
  • A link to documents related to the mark on the Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR) system
  • A link to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board status
  • An image of the mark
  • Bibliographic data related to the mark

The user can select the back button on their browser to return to the hit list.

Additional search features offered on the site include the option to:

  • Browse Dictionary - This option browses all fields in the database unless you limit to a particular field. Results are returned in a dictionary-style (alphabetic) format. In the search form, enter a key word and the search returns an alphabetical list of terms containing the keyword, along with the number of related documents and hits for each term.
  • Search OG Publication Date or Registration Date - This option searches the Official Gazette for marks published or registered on a particular date. Search by "publish for opposition" date or registration date, and combine the date with a search term (with a field selected from the drop-down menu).

The system homepage notes that "TESS is not intended to be a source for bulk downloads of USPTO data. Bulk data may be purchased from USPTO at cost."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Trademarks > Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)." TESS homepage, Accessed July 17, 2012.

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