- Research Collections
- Trademark Searches
- State Trademarks
- Other Brand and Trade Name Sources
A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device, or combination of these, adopted and used to identify the goods or services of a business and distinguish them from those offered by others. Trademarks may be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with state trademark offices or left unregistered.
Information on how to register a Federal trademark and answers to many questions about them can be found at the USPTO’s Basic Facts About Trademarks.
New York State Library has been a Patent and Trademark Resource Center since 1871. Our collection has almost everything the USPTO has published and distributed in paper, microform or electronic format. We have access to the tools you will need to perform a trademark search. We also own many commercially published titles. The collection includes things such as:
- USAMark (DVD-ROMs) which contain scanned images of all US trademark registrations from 1870 to present
- The annual Index of Trademarks, 1927-1997 (some missing volumes), an index of trademarks registered and decisions published during each calendar year
- Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Trademarks where newly issued marks and marks published for opposition appear weekly
- Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual
- Design Search Code Manual
- Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP)
- Commercially published handbooks for the layman
- An extensive law collection that contains legal treatises on trademark and intellectual property law
- Information on international trademarks and foreign intellectual property offices
Appointments are recommended but not necessary if you would like assistance in using the Library’s trademark collection. Call 518-474-5355 or use our E-mail Reference Requests.
Searches of trademarks registered with the USPTO may be done at no charge online at their Web site, http://www.uspto.gov. They may also be done at no charge at the New York State Library using the USPTO’s CD-ROM/DVD system, CASSIS 2, in the Library’s Electronic Reference Area. Both these searches will allow you to view the marks.
A directory of attorneys and agents registered to practice before the USPTO can be found on the USPTO Web site at Registered Attorney/Agent Search.
A search can be used to:
- Find out if a mark you would like to use has already been registered
- Generate ideas for the design of a new mark
- Determine a trademark's appearance, date of issue, or holding company
- Watch for infringement of trademark rights
- Collect information in support of litigation
- Keep abreast of the introduction of competitive products and services
- Find out who owns what
An online tutorial on trademark searching can be found at:
Trademarks can be registered in New York State at the Miscellaneous Records Unit of the Department of State’s Division of Corporations; the telephone number is 518-474-4770.
Links to other states' trademark agencies can be found at FindLaw's State Trademark Information.
The Library has other publications where you can find brand and trade names. Some examples are annual trade directories such as: Companies and Their Brands, Brands and Their Companies, the international versions of those publications, and the brand name indexes in Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, Standard Directory of Advertisers and Corporate Affiliations.
Internet Bibliography: Some Internet sites that offer additional information about trademarks, patents and intellectual property can be found at the Patents and Trademarks link on the Library’s list of Internet Bibliographies.