I think it’s important for domain investors to search the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database before buying a domain name – even if it’s a generic name. The USPTO operates a system called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which allows you to search for trademarks using keywords and search terms. If there is an application for a trademark, a live trademark, or a dead trademark, the search results will have that information.
To perform a trademark search, you need to navigate to TESS and perform a “New User Form Search.” The results will include when a trademark was filled (and by whom), the class of trademark, how the trademark is to be used, whether the trademark is live or dead and several other important notes. If you have any questions about whether you can register a domain name for a particular usage, its always good to consult an attorney who may be able to advise you. This is particularly important if you plan to develop a business on the domain name.