The registration of trademarks in the United States can be complicated, and takes around 4 months in order to be complete. Several issues might cause the application to be rejected, and one of the commonest of these is if the submitted trademark is similar to one that is already registered. Such problems usually prolong the registration process, sometimes by months. Ensuring that it does not happen is an excellent way to shorten the duration between application and registration.
This is where a trademark search comes in. As the phrase might suggest, a trademark search is the process by which one goes through a database of trademarks registered in the United States, typically to find if one matches the one they had registered. The fact that the United States Patents and Trademarks Office keeps a database of all such records means that to do so, you only need to go through the database to find the information you need.
This is a free service, and is commonly done using the Trademark Electronic Search System on the USPTO website. In case you have designed a trademark that has a design code, you would need to do the search using the design code. Design code manuals can be found on the USPTO website as well.
Other options for trademark search include visiting the Trademark Public Search Library. This is usually open between 8 am and 8 pm, and is located in Virginia. This process is also free. Finally, you can consult private trademark search firms to do the search on your behalf. This is usually faster, but you would need to pay a fee depending on the company you choose.