A trademark is an identifying symbol for a company. Many companies opt to register their trademark so that others can't use the same mark or one that is so similar that it confuses the public.
If your company is considering a trademark registration, there are several considerations for you to think about. This is why it is often better to have an attorney represent you in these cases. There are times when your case might require more than just a quick search and application.
Using the database
The Trademark Electronic Search System, better known as TESS, is where you can go to see if another trademark has been registered that is identical to yours or very similar to it. If you find one in your geographic area and for the same category of services or goods, there is a good chance that you won't be able to register your mark.
Trademark laws in this country offer the protection to the first company to use the trademark in a geographical area, not the first one to register it. If you used the mark first but someone else has registered it, you might be in for a legal battle, but you may be able to assert your right to the mark.
If you run your company online, you might need to trademark the name of the company. Here's one thing to consider. Even if you include the domain extension, .com, .co, .info or others, in the name of the company, you might want to register it without that extension. By leaving off the extension, you may be able to prevent another company from using the same name but with a different extension. You can always register the mark twice, once with the extension and once without it.
When you file for the trademark registration, you should expect to have an answer within six months of the date you file. Make sure that you understand how this impacts your rights to the trademark so that you can plan accordingly. This is one of the primary ways you can protect the image of your company, so make sure that you take it seriously. If someone impedes upon your trademark, you can take legal action so be sure you are fully prepared to do so.