As I have noted on this blog, owning a Federal trademark registration provides several advantages, including the ability to file a trademark lawsuit to protect the mark. In order to obtain that protection, you must show current use of the mark in commerce, or their intent to use their mark in commerce in the future, in the classes that you want protection.
What Is Meant By “Commerce?”
The term “commerce” refers to all commerce that the U.S. Congress may lawfully regulate, including interstate commerce or commerce between the U.S. and another country. As detailed by the USPTO, “use in commerce” must be a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not use simply made to reserve rights in the mark.
Acceptable use includes the following:
- For goods: the mark must appear on the goods, the container for the goods, or displays associated with the goods, and the goods must be sold or transported in commerce.
- For services: the mark must be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services, and the services must be rendered in commerce.
What If I am Already Using the Mark?
If you are already using the mark in commerce on your product, you may file a “use” based application. You must include a sworn statement that the mark is in use in commerce, including the date of first use of the mark anywhere and the date of first use of the mark in commerce. Usually, these dates are the same, but they can be different. Your application should also include a specimen showing use of the mark in commerce. If you don’t provide a specimen of the mark in use for each class claimed in the application, either protection will not be granted for the class, or the entire mark will not be granted.
How I Can Help
There are many other factors that must be considered before filing a trademark application. I can provide, in many instances, a flat fee or pre-negotiated costs for United States trademark application filing. If you need help to file a trademark to protect and promote your brand, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +