Is a trademark search necessary? They are expensive and seem like something a person could do without a lawyer.
It is advisable to conduct a search of the office records before filing an application. A search for pending, registered and dead trademarks may be conducted on the USPTO website using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) or by visiting the Public Search Facility located on the first floor of the Madison East building at 600 Dulany St., Alexandria , VA 22313 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Also, certain information may be searched at a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL). To find your nearest PTDL, go to www.uspto.gov/go/ptdl. If you need assistance in searching for trademarks, you may wish to locate an attorney specializing in trademark law. Local bar associations and the Yellow Pages usually have attorney listing broken down by specialties.