In the United States, there is NO legal or regulatory requirement that you perform a trademark search or conduct any sort of due diligence before filing a trademark application.
A trademark search is optional – not required.
Whether or not you need a search depends on your personal risk tolerance level.
A search can allow you to choose a less defective or problematic brand before you invest into it.
After you file a trademark application, it can take 6-9 months for a USPTO Examining Attorney to review your application.
Once they review it, they may allow it to move forward OR they may issue an Office Action (an initial refusal).
The majority of applications (over 70%) receive an Office Action.
An Office Action does not mean your application is doomed! In fact, most refusals can be overcome, especially with the right attorney.
However… the arguments that are required to overcome Office Actions can be complex. Responding to an Office Action comes with an increased cost. Thus, Office Actions should be avoided if possible.
The earlier you can adjust your brand or choose an alternate name, the less expensive it will be to push your trademark through or re-brand.
A proper trademark search can uncover issues and analyze your desired brand name, logo, or slogan so that we can strategically prepare your application in a way that avoids many common reasons for Office Actions.