How to read design search codes
A design search code is a six-digit number. The first two digits are the category of the design. Categories are broad, such as “animals.” The next two digits are the division. Divisions are narrower than categories, such as “birds and bats.” The last two digits are the section. Sections are very specific, such as “eagles.”
Look up your design search codes
Use one of the following methods to look up the design search codes you identified in the last section.
The benefit of using the keyword search is that it can help you find close matches for the design search code you’re looking for, not just exact matches. Using these close matches in your TESS search could help you do a more thorough clearance search.
To do a keyword search, open the design search code manual and select “keyword search” at the top. In the “design code or keyword” box, enter the design element you are looking for. For example, enter “house” if your trademark includes the word “house” or a design of a house. Then select the “submit query” button.
The system will return a list of suggested design search codes that match or are closely related to the term you entered. Check this list for closely related designs you could use to make your clearance search more thorough.
For example, let’s say your trademark includes a design of a drinking mug, or the word “mug.” A keyword search for “mug” would return a list of design search codes, including:
- 11.03.02 Tankards, glasses with handles, beer mugs, and steins
- 11.03.02 cups and saucers
- 11.03.16 coffee mugs
Depending on your design, you may want to use more than one of these design search codes in your clearance search. If your trademark uses the word “mug,” you could consider using all of them.
If you’re not sure if one of the design search codes on the list will be helpful, select it to go to the corresponding section in the design search code manual. You will see examples of designs that are coded with that design search code. Comparing the examples to your design can help you determine if you should use that design search code in your clearance search.
Browse from the table of categories
Open the design search code manual and scroll down to the “table of categories.” Select the name of a category to view it. The divisions are listed at the top of the category page. Select the name of a division to jump directly to the one you want to view, or scroll down to see all the designs in the category.
View alphabetical index
Open the design search code manual and select “Alphabetical Index” in the table of contents. Categories, divisions, and sections are all listed alphabetically. Select the code listed to view the corresponding category, division or section.
Open the design search code manual and select the “Browse Dict.” button at the top. Type a word related to the design you’re looking for in the “dictionary term” box and select the “browse” button. Select the term to see a list of the categories, divisions and sections that use that word. Select to view the corresponding category, division, or section.
The browse dictionary feature only finds exact matches to the design search code you look up. Use the keyword search to find close matches and exact matches. Using close matches when you search TESS can help you conduct a more thorough clearance search.