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How to find out who owns a business trademark?


If you’re planning to sell goods or services under a unique brand name, it’s important to know who owns the rights to that US trademark filing. This is because if someone else has already registered the same mark in your state or across the country, they have exclusive rights to use it in connection with their goods or services. If this happens to your business, it can be very costly and time-consuming for you if you want to continue using that name legally: You’ll need to rebrand yourself and change all of your advertising materials before going into production.

Fortunately, there are several ways for you determine whether or not another person or company has already registered—and therefore owns—your desired trademark before spending money on products and materials associated with it. In this article we’ll share some common methods used by individuals and businesses alike for finding out who owns a business trademark when starting up new ventures!

1) Use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

TESS is a searchable database containing information about registered and pending trademarks, including the name of the owner and the date of registration. You can access TESS through the USPTO website, but it’s also available as an online subscription service to search by keyword. This means you can use phrases like “who owns this trademark” in your searches instead of having to specify any specific owner or number.

TESS contains records dating back to 1989, so it will show if someone applied for ownership of a particular mark as long ago as that year — which means it’s not limited just to recent applications! The database is updated daily, so even if something has expired or been abandoned, you’ll still be able to see its history on TESS.

2) Contact the company.

If you want to know who owns a trademark, you can contact the company directly and ask. If you are dealing with one of the big companies, there is usually an investor relations department or legal department that handles trademarks. These departments are usually happy to help out with questions about how a trademark was obtained and who owns it so long as they don’t feel like your inquiry is going to cause them problems with their employer.

3) Conduct searches in search engines.

If you’re able to locate a business trademark, you’ll want to know who owns the mark. This is where search engines come in handy. You can use a search engine like Google or Bing to find information about companies and their trademarks, as well as information about trademark owners and applications.

You can conduct searches by entering the company name into the search bar at the top of your browser, then clicking on “Images.” Once in Images, type in keywords related to what you’re looking for—for example:  (with an underscore).

4) Use a trademark lawyer.

If you have a trademark issue that needs resolving, then it’s best to hire an attorney who specializes in intellectual property. Many lawyers offer trademark registration services for a reasonable fee, so there’s no reason not to get one involved if you’re not sure about something.

You can conduct a search on the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) database, which is accessible through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System.

  • Searching TSDR will help you find out if there are any existing trademarks that contain similar or identical words, designs, or devices as your mark. For example: If you were to start a blog about “clean eating” recipes and wanted to name it something like “Clean Eats Blog” but didn’t want anyone else using this name for their blog about healthy living because it would be confusing for people reading both blogs, you could search TSDR to see if any other blogs used this exact phrase in their title. If they did exist within another company’s trademark portfolio, then it would be wise not use this phrase in your own branding efforts unless you knew how they were used differently than how you plan on using them yourself!

You can find out who owns a business trademark by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database.

  • You can find out who owns a business trademark by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Another option is to use TSDR, an online database maintained by the USPTO that contains information on more than 5 million active international registrations for trademarks around the world (with over 2 million active U.S.-based registrations). This tool includes resources such as country-specific information about applications and searches; dates when countries joined UPOV (the International Union for Protection of New Varieties of Plants); whether particular countries are members of an international treaty; whether they allow mark cancellation procedures and if so what they are called in each language; whether there are any limitations on typeface size or number of characters allowed in a single filing within each jurisdiction; etcetera ad nauseam…

This should be enough information to get started!

A state trademark registration is limited to one particular state only, not the entire U.S.

A federal trademark registration is required to protect your mark in all states of the U.S., but it comes with an additional cost and a more complicated application process than a state trademark registration. If you don’t need protection for your business name in multiple states, then it’s best to start with a state-level trademark registration instead of pursuing both types of protection at once.

The International Trademark Association offers a global search tool on its website.

The International Trademark Association (INTA) offers a global search tool on its website. The tool allows you to search by trademark name, country or class of goods and services, as well as by number. It’s free to use and can be accessed here:

You can search for a trademark’s owner in several ways, depending on the type of trademark involved and its scope.

  • If you’re looking to find out who owns a business trademark, you’ll need to start with a search of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database. The USPTO is responsible for registering trademarks across the country, so this is your best bet if you’re trying to track down business owners with widely-used trademarks like Coca-Cola or McDonalds.
  • If you want more detailed information about what was registered by whom when then check out their Trademark Status & Document Retrieval System which costs $175 per hour but allows users access to every registered trademark ever filed online (or close enough).


While there are many different ways to search for information about who owns a trademark, the most reliable method is through the USPTO trademark search database. If you have any questions about how to conduct your search, contact a lawyer or an attorney who specializes in trademark law.

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