I'm no expert, but you should be able to search your state on the computer at your state's division of corporations.
You will likely have to pay a company to search the other 49 states for you. Then pay a company to register yours either in your state or every state.
Originally Posted by Tom Brown
I'm still chuckling at being "poo-pooed" for straying off topic. Awesome.
KennyKen is mostly right. Registering a trademark is a good idea for international trademarks (and expensive), but by adding TM creates an unperfected trademark. That is of course if it is not already in use. The USPTO is an excellent resource for researching existing trademarks, copyrights, and service marks. The other end of an unperfected trademark is being able to prove when you first used it in commerce. This creates a time-line in case someone infringes upon your trademark.
Again, I'm not an attorney, just what I've learned dealing with them in the past. Consult one, but do your homework first.
Herein lies the problem (eh, already using lawer talk). The name I want to use has not been copywrited yet (well it was at one time a long time ago by a completely different company, but the user let it expire in 1993 and they are no longer in business. Also, my biz I want to start is in a completely industry). A firm in China has the www domain. But they are not using it. They just have it held (for a long time too, they took the domain in 2003 and have it saved at least until 2014). Found that on godaddy. I had a trademark search done by leagal zoom. Everything came up clean on the federal and state trademark search. Seems wide open right? The problem comes back to that saved www.domain. It comes up on the "common law mark" search. Which as other said, gives it a history.....kinda. This is my question that I probably need to ask an attourney
Here's my WAG. Merely having a domain name doesn't necessarily mean first used in commerce. The other thing is a name can be used in different G&S without infringing. Like "Magic".... it can be used in boating and household products (just an example) without being an infringement issue. As I remember, it comes down to "would a reasonable person confuse the two". When they are used in similar (or the same obviously) G&S, then it becomes an issue. Google "Sleekcraft" and read about the old suit between AMF and Sleekcraft boats to get a better understanding (<<<boating content). Doesn't mean someone with a completely different G&S won't try to intimidate you.... comes down to who blinks first, who has deeper pockets, and who's lawyer can beat up the other one. Fun stuff.....