A trademark is the symbol that identifies a business and sets it apart from the rest. Trademarks are used by businesses that provide tangible goods. Service marks are essentially the same as a trademark, except that they are used by companies that provides services rather then tangible goods. Searching for trade or service marks is a lengthy process and the process to search for California trademarks is the same for all of the United States.
Familiarize yourself with the acceptable terms used to identify services and goods. The United States Patent and Trademark office provides a manual to help you do just that. Go to the online manual. Choose the goods and services field. Enter search words or terms into the search menu and click on "submit query".
Write down the class number listed next to each item you find that is similar to the trademark you are seeking, as well as the terms used in conjunction with the goods or services.
Skim Chapter 1400 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure. This chapter will help you confirm you have chose the correct terms and classes.
Use the index found in the Design Code Manual if you are searching for a trademark or service mark that incorporates a design or logo. The index contains the six-digit code for designs used in trade and service marks. The index is listed alphabetically for ease of use.
Visit the Trademark Electronic Search System to conduct a search of trade or service marks that are fully registered or pending. There are several search forms you can use. You will need the information you gathered in the first few steps to conduct your search. The basic search for new users is the best place to start. When you find the one you may be looking for write down the serial number, reference number or registration number.
Check the status of the trademark or service mark you found by searching the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval. You must enter the number you found by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System to find the status.