A trademark search is an important step in the process of selecting a new mark. The purpose of a search is to determine whether a proposed mark is available to use and even if it is registerable. Before investing resources into using a new mark, it is critical to know if a third party already has rights to the mark or a similar mark.
A preliminary search (also known as a “knockout” search) searches registered US trademarks for obvious conflicts. If a conflict is found and a registration is not possible, you save time and money by not filing for a new mark. A preliminary search does not, however, determine whether registration will be granted.