Is my proposed trademark available to be filed?
A US trademark search is necessary to find out if someone else is using the mark that you want. If you want to protect your mark internationally, then you must search there also.
Trademark Searches can be made at the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The most effective search is made when you use a freeform Boolean logic search. If you were searching for the use of the term "butter candy", your search would look like this:
You might also want to add + "26"[GS] to designate the product class of fancy goods. You will also need to search each of the words individually to determine if there is any other close usage within your product or service class.
You have done your search of the US Patent and Trademark Office database. No one has registered a trademark that resembles yours. You file and receive your trademark. Then someone sues you saying you are using their business name. How did this happen? They were using the name for so long that they have what is called a common law trademark. How do you protect yourself against this potential problem? Your search must include a public usage database. A quick an easy public database search could be on the internet. Be sure to use a meta search that covers all of the major search engines.
Performing a US trademark search is the first step to protecting your brand or company identity to your customers or potential customers. When you complete the process of getting a trademark, you will have the government on your side in protecting your mark against the world.