Common Law Trademark Rights and Searches
In order to establish trademark rights, a federal registration is not required. The actual use of a trademark gives rise to common law rights. Typically, the first to file an intent to use application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office or actually use the trademark in commerce can claim ultimate registration rights. As discussed in a previous article, however, there are many benefits to federal registration of a trademark.
Searching for records other than those listed in the pending application and federal register in known as a common law search. Areas searched could include phone directories, yellow pages, state trademark registers, industrial directories, etc. This is done to ascertain whether or not a particular trademark that has not been filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office is being used by others. Though it is not required to perform a common law search, it could prove beneficial in avoiding potential trademark infringement matters.
You would be wise to consult with a Florida trademark attorney first, before undertaking any trademark matters.