Entries in Washington State Trademark Registration (3)

Washington State Trademarks Are Now Searchable

The Washington Secretary of State’s database of trademark filings is now searchable (accessible here, at the bottom of the page).

This is a big improvement. Before, searching state records was a hit-and-miss (and mostly miss) affair with the Washington State Digital Archives. Or it meant spending time on the phone. Or paying to access third-party databases, which was a bit galling, since trademark filings are public.

Be galled no more. Users can now search Washington trademark filings by trademark number, owner name, trademark word elements, or Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number. Once a filing is found, you can click a hyperlink and see PDFs of the as-filed documents. The interface is publicly-available, and it’s free.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. Those are the only searches available. You can’t search by attorney, or goods and services, or use Boolean operators. Those features would be nice, but they’re icing on the cake. It would also help to know the currency of the database, i.e., the date through which the information is accurate. However, this is such a great leap forward, I’m not complaining.

What’s important is the database is meaningfully populated with relevant data. It’s a useful tool that trademark owners should search before making their own filings in Washington.

Use Your State Trademark Registration to Enforce Your Rights Online

As previously discussed (here), I believe that state trademark registrations have their place in forming a smart trademark protection strategy.

Here’s another reason why they can be useful: enforcing your rights with online portals like Amazon, eBay, and Google. Generally, these providers only act on complaints about counterfeiting or trademark infringement if the complaining party can establish its superior rights by supplying a registration number. At least with Amazon (with whom I’ve recently dealt), this includes state trademark registrations.

Assuming state registrations continue to do the trick (and are similarly acted on by eBay, Google, and other providers), they can be an attractive option for a trademark owner if its goal is to stop online infringement. They’re quick (in Washington, you can get a registration certificate within a week or two), they’re cheap ($105 in filing fees in Washington, including expedited processing), and they’re almost automatically granted.

If you want to maximize your trademark rights, it’s no substitute for a federal registration. But if you only do business locally, or want a quick credential to leverage with online providers, a state registration can be an option to consider.

Search Washington Trademark Filings for Free

A sample application for statewide trademark registration.
Users can now search filings from 1888 to 2011 for free

It’s now possible to search Washington trademark registrations for free.

The Washington Secretary of State’s digital archives have added trademark records to its searchable online database.

Start with the digital archives home page. Select “Trademark Records” from the dropdown menu under the “Search by Keyword” or “Detailed Search” options, enter the search criteria, and click the “Search” button. 

The “Detailed Search” option enables searching by keyword, registration number, owner name, document type (amendment, application, assignment, renewal, and reservation), and range of filing dates.

Results display the trademark number, owner’s name, document type, received date, and even a copy of the application, specimens of use, and registration certificate.

The site states the database includes “active and inactive trademark records filed with the Secretary of State’s Office, Corporations Division from 1888 to 2011.”

This is a pretty awesome tool that previously was available only through third-party vendors.

Thanks to the State of Washington for making this available. And thanks to Shannon Whitmore for letting me in on the secret!