How To File an Intent-To-Use Trademark Application
Is it possible to file a trademark or service mark even though you haven’t used it in commerce yet? The short answer is yes—you can choose a filing basis that enables you to apply for registration without providing a specimen.
The intent-to-use trademark application allows small business owners to “reserve” a potential mark if they agree to certain terms. Find out what those conditions are and learn how to register a trademark with ease using DoNotPay!
If you want to acquire state or federal trademark protection, you need to report to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Among other requirements, you will have to fill out a trademark application form and state the filing basis for your petition.
One of the options at hand is the intent-to-use trademark application. If you are interested in filing an ITU, you should know that:
- No trademark specimen of use is needed—The intent-to-use filing basis is the rare instance where you don’t need a trademark before applying for registration
- You must show good faith to use the mark in the future—A prerequisite for filing an intent-to-use application is to compose a statement promising you will use the trademark within six months
- Intent to use provides applicants with a “priority date”—The trademark protection law considers the ITU filing date as the starting point of trademark use, giving you a potential advantage over marketplace competitors
- An ITU application serves as a basis for litigation—If an individual or organization starts using the trademark after you submitted the intent-to-use application, it can be considered infringement
- The ITU needs to result in registration to be viable—To state your case to the federal court, you will need to provide proof of ownership in the form of a registration certificate. Your rights will be disputed otherwise, even if you filed the intent to use trademark application
When completing a USPTO trademark application form, you can choose between two filing bases:
- Use in commerce, also known as Section 1(a)
- Intent to use, or Section 1(b)
The use in commerce application requires evidence of trademark use. Not only do you have to enclose a specimen of use, but you also need to state the date when you first started using it.
Section 1(b) or the intent-to-use filing basis is part of the initial trademark application form. You must submit your application online via the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). The USPTO also provides two filing options:
- TEAS Plus
- TEAS Standard
Check out the general layout of the documents in the table below:
|Trademark Application Form Section||Description|
|Trademark class||Depending on the filing option, you can choose to:
|Trademark type||You need to state the type of trademark you plan on using. It can be any visual or text symbol, such as:
The trademark must be available, so you need to check the USPTO database before you apply
Deciding which trademark application to use is directly related to how much money you will spend on registration. Apart from the initial fees, you can also expect some long-term expenses.
Here is a quick rundown of trademark costs:
- Registration fee—You will be charged for each trademark class you include in the form. The pricing for TEAS Plus is $250 per class, while TEAS Standard charges $350 per class
- Intent-to-use trademark fee—Unlike Section 1(a), the ITU results in some additional expenses. For more information, refer to the official USPTO website
- Attorney flat fee—If you hire an IP lawyer to prepare the paperwork, you will need to pay for their services
- Maintenance fee—Trademarks expire after a while, as opposed to other forms of intellectual property protection (e.g., copyright). If you don’t renew your registration on time, your trademark will be pronounced dead
Whether your application is successful or not depends on how you handle the paperwork. Make one small error, and all your hard work goes to waste. To make sure your registration goes flawlessly, use DoNotPay’s Trademark Registration product!
Here are the steps to using the feature:
- Sign up for DoNotPay using your browser
- Select Trademark Registration from the list of products
- Answer a series of questions about your brand and desired trademark
- Provide proof of paid registration fees
To finalize the process, e-sign the document and have our AI-operated app submit it to the USPTO.
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