Before registration, intent-to-use trademark applicants must demonstrate a genuine intent to use the trademark in commerce. This is accomplished by submitting a statement of intent to use the trademark, as well as an explanation of the steps that the applicant has taken or plans to take in order to begin using the trademark. Furthermore, the applicant may submit evidence of preparations made in support of the intended use, such as proof of a planned marketing campaign, a sample of the product or packaging, or proof of business plans and financial projections.
When Should a Trademark Intent-to-Use Application Be Filed?
Before the mark is actually used in commerce, an intent-to-use trademark application can be filed. However, the registration will not be granted until the applicant can show that the mark is being used in commerce or has a genuine intent to use the mark in commerce.
It is best to file an intent-to-use trademark application as soon as possible, even if the mark has not yet been used in commerce. This allows the applicant to obtain an earlier priority date, which can be useful in the event of a trademark dispute with another party. Furthermore, because the application process can take months or even years, filing early allows the applicant to start using the mark with the protection of a pending registration.
Should an Attorney Review the Trademark Intent-to-Use Application?
An attorney should generally review and assist with the preparation of an intent-to-use trademark application. Attorneys who specialize in trademark law can assist in ensuring that the application is complete and accurate, as well as that it complies with all legal requirements.
Based on the availability of the mark, the similarity of the mark to other registered or pending trademarks, and any other legal issues that may arise, an attorney can assist in reviewing the application and advising on the likelihood of success. Furthermore, they can assist in identifying and addressing any potential issues that may arise during the application process, such as USPTO objections.
Furthermore, an attorney can assist in the drafting of the statement of bona fide intent to use the trademark and any other supporting documents required for the application, as well as in the negotiation and drafting of any agreements that may be required to establish and document the bona fide intent to use the trademark in order for the application to be approved and registered.