Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Intent to Use Trademark Applications
A Federal trademark application may be filed as either an "in use" application or as an "intent to use" application.
What is the difference?
For starters, trademark law is different than copyright or patent law in that it is not effected for the purpose of protecting the creative rights or "ideas" of the creators of term, word, logo, phrase, or design. Its purpose is to protect consumers of goods or services in interstate commerce from being duped as to the source or quality of their purchases.
Thus, it is a requirement of the Federal Trademark Act that a trademark be in use in commerce for the protection of registration to be granted.
If a trademark is not "in use," there is no concern as to the likelihood of consumer confusion.
However, an application may be filed before it is actually "in use."
This is the "intent to use" application.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Sworn Statement of Bona Fide Intention Generally Sufficient
An trademark application may be filed when the mark owner merely intends to use it in commerce. However, that intent must be bona fide.
What is required for that?
A "verified statement" must be filed with the application declaring that the applicant has a "bona fide" intent to use the trademark in interstate commerce.
No specific wording is required, but the statement must include the phrase "in commerce" without altering them.
Peeling Back the Layers of Bona Fide Intent
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's (TTAB) manual of procedures states that it will not "evaluation" the good faith of declarants of such statements, but it is nevertheless advisable to compile documentary evidence of steps taken in furtherance of a good faith intent to use the mark in commerce prior to filing an application should the examining attorney file an "office action" questioning the bona fide intent to use, regardless.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Intent to Use Applications, a Bottom Line
The bottom-line for trademark applicants is that it is essential that your application be filed in a timely manner--but also a proper manner.
Detroit, Michigan Trademark Registration Attorney John Hilla is available to assist clients anywhere in the U.S. Please feel free to contact us here or at 1 (734) 743-1489 to schedule a free telephonic consultation.