I used via the Trademark Electronic Search System ("TESS"), to search for my logo before i apply for one. Luckly it was not in the database. But i still want to be possitivily sure Is there other free online database that i can research beside...
You may also wish to check for usage in telephone directories and for online usage. In addition, many states maintain trademark registers.
In order for trademark infringement to occur there must be a "likelihood of confusion." Unfortunately it is not easy to give a quick and easy interpretation of this standard. If you find a mark that is at all close to yours, you may be well advised to "bite the bullet" and hire an attorney to help you determine what the dangers are.
You absolutely can open your business and apply for a business license while your logo is pending. You are taking a risk in that you may some day receive a "cease and desist" letter from someone who feels that your mark is creating a likelihood of confusion with their mark. But you would not be violating any law and there is certainly a chance that you would never get a cease and desist letter.
First off, you should not necessarily give up if your application is denied. You may be able to argue the case and win. If you cannot get your mark registered, it may be because the trademark side of the USPTO feels that it is confusingly similar to another mark. If this is the case, "watch out" because there is then a good chance that you will receive a cease and desist letter from the other mark owner. If the USPTO will not register the mark because it is "merely descriptive" then the chances that you are infringing someone else's mark are much lower. There is no requirement that you register your mark, and through use you build up common law rights. Then, after six years of use there is a presumption that people have started to associate the mark with you, rather than the merely descriptive meaning. At that point you have a much better chance of getting your mark on the principal register.See question