Every lawyer charges different rates. You can search the USPTO website yourself for free - http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4802:w3l5z7.1.1 - but if you need a lawyer, you could hire an intellectual property lawyer, or for a simple business issue anyone who does corporate and business law.
This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.
Hi. There are different levels and types of searches. Trademarks are acquired at federal, state, and common law levels. If you are looking for a truly thorough search, you should hire someone with the ability to search all three.
Searching the USPTO by itself is generally not going to be all that helpful - there are some sites that do that for you at low cost, but what they don't tell you is how your trademark rights can be limited by things that won't come up in a search of the USPTO database.
You're looking at a business name, for example. To really know what's out there, you would need to have someone search the federal database at the USPTO, the state trademark databases, state business name registries, and common law trademark information just to know, at a minimum, whether anyone out there is already using your name or something really similar. Anything that shows up at any of those levels could impact your trademark, because established marks - even common law marks - take precedence over federal registrations as to the area in which they're used.
So, if you want to register Big Mean Cupcakes as a business name and there's no federal registration, searching the USPTO database wouldn't tell you if someone in Indiana was already using that name for their bakery but hadn't registered it with the federal government. But, even if you did register, the BMC in IN would still be able to stop you from opening a shop in the area where they sell cupcakes because they have prior goodwill there.
So, yeah - you need more than a basic USPTO search to really do your due diligence. As to what it'll cost, that's going to depend on the attorney you select. You can call around and get an idea (or email, really) - a lot of trademark attorneys will be able to quote you a flat fee. Drop me a line, and I'd be happy to tell you mine.
No information you obtain from this answer is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your situation. No attorney-client relationship is formed by my responding to your question.
In the US, trademark holders have rights under common law and they can enforce against your federal mark if they have prior use especailly within the first five years. This means that if there is some guy in say MI with the same or similar name and within the same or related class of goods/services he can petition to cancel your federal registration based on his common law use. This happens, and as you can imagine it can be a very expensive proposition when it does.
You will never know that he exists by only looking at the USPTO TESS/TARR database, because no federal application was submited nor does it have to be. What is done first and properly is a full comprehensive federal and common law clearance (see link below for more info).
Lawyers will charge different rates for this kind of work. My firm offers a flat-rate service, others charge per hour. The degree of expertise and attention will vary greatly but make no mistake this is not an intuitive nor is it a quick and easy process as some would have you believe (especially non-lawyer websites).
I will link you to some info below and suggest that you discuss your plans over with some TM lawyers to get a good idea of how they work and what they charge. Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.
The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 Support@LanternLegal.com DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
As was noted by another attorney, you can search the USPTO trademark DB via the TESS function under trademarks. You may want to do this yourself before paying anyone, since you may discover your exact trademark is already being used by another entity for similar goods and services. A thorough search on Google for your mark may reveal unregistered uses.
You can get a very thorough professional search from LegalZoom for $300, which includes state registrations and a variety of other sources. You would probably want an attorney to review the results.
This information should not be construed as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. To best protect your rights, you should engage the services of a qualified attorney.
As noted by others, the knockout search is only part of the trademark clearance process. To answer your second question, an IP attorney will certainly be able to help you search the magazine name as well. There are some specialty databases that can be searched.
For more on the trademark clearance process, I've included a link below to my firm's free 30-minute webinar on the Trademark Clearance Process.
This answer does not constitute legal advice, and by answering this question we have not entered into an attorney-client relationship.
Find a lawyer who provides a free initial consultation. Some business names are impossible to register because they use words that are generic or descriptive of the products/services. A lawyer will be able to tell you that straight away. Or a search of TESS might reveal an exact match has already been registered. I would be surprised if a lawyer charged you anything for either of those results.
The magazine title wouldn't be Reno PULSE would it? If yes, get an attorney. If not, then read Attorney Blasingim's answer.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.