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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal WebinarSearch Party: Basic Principles of TESS Searches

Alt Legal Team | July 17, 2021
2 min read

This webinar was recorded on August 5, 2021.

In this webinar, John Miranda, a former USPTO trademark examiner and current attorney at Meister Seelig & Fein, guides you through the fundamentals of U.S. trademark searches. He explains USPTO examiners’ search strategies and gives advice about how private practitioners can mimic these strategies in order to effectively predict citations under Section 2(d). Topics discussed include the following:

  • TESS: how to effectively use the free-form search option to maximize the number of relevant search results while reducing noise
  • Phonetic Equivalents and Truncation: breaking up words into parts and identifying letters that sound similar and others which may convey similar commercial impressions
  • Coordinated Classes: an explanation of which classes are related to which and how to use that to use that to find relevant search results
  • Design Codes: an introduction to search codes and an explanation of how to mix and match them to find relevant marks

Watch recording here (registration required).

You can download all of the webinar materials here.


  • For our overview of phonetic equivalents and truncation, check out this article.
  • The USPTO posted an alert about the delays/surge in applications. (Thanks, M.J. Williams!)
  • The USPTO’s Design Code Search Manual can be found here.
  • For information about coordinated classes, check out this article.

Speaker Bio:

John S. Miranda is a trademark attorney based in NYC with experience representing clients of all sizes and in all major brand-driven industries. He is currently an Associate Attorney at Meister Seelig & Fein, where he focuses his practice on U.S. trademark counseling, clearance, and prosecution. Before that, he was a Trademark Examining Attorney with the USPTO for 5+ years, where he reviewed thousands of trademark applications to determine whether they were eligible for registration. Additionally, he has experience advising clients on matters in the fields of copyright law, trademark enforcement, and trademark transactions & licensing. He can be reached at


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