Trademark Information

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Overview

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 Officeexternal link collection (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 Trademarksexternal link collection.

Research Collections

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:

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.

Trademark Searches

Searches of trademarks registered with the USPTO may be done at no charge online at the USPTO Web siteexternal link icon. They may also be done at no charge at the New York State Library. Staff at the New York State Library can assist you in formulating search strategies and in searching for logos.

New York State Library staff is available to assist you in using the trademark search tools. The staff are not, however, patent or trademark attorneys, and are not qualified to provide legal advice, interpret your search results or strategies, or provide opinions on the viability of a trademark application.

A directory of attorneys and agents registered to practice before the USPTO can be found on the USPTO Web site at Registered Attorney/Agent Searchexternal link icon.

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:

State Trademarks

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 Informationexternal link icon.

Other Brand and Trade Name Sources

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.

Last Updated: December 18, 2014