What does 'Intent to use' mean?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

'Intent to use' refers to a basis for filing a trademark application where the applicant declares a genuine intention to use the mark in commerce in the future but has not yet commenced actual use of the mark at the time of filing. This basis allows the applicant to secure a priority filing date and begin the registration process, even if the mark is not currently being used in connection with the specified goods or services.

The intent-to-use basis provides a way for applicants to reserve rights to a mark before it is actually used in commerce. It recognizes that trademark protection is valuable and should be available to those who are actively preparing to use the mark in connection with their goods or services.

After the intent-to-use application is filed, the applicant must eventually demonstrate actual use of the mark in commerce by submitting additional documentation and evidence to the trademark office. This usually happens during the later stages of the application process, such as after the application has been examined and approved for publication. The applicant must provide proof of the mark's use in commerce within a specified timeframe, typically within a few years of the application's filing date.

The intent-to-use basis allows applicants to secure a priority filing date, establish their rights to the mark, and begin the registration process while they finalize their plans for commercial use. It gives them time to develop the products or services associated with the mark, complete branding strategies, or fulfill other necessary requirements before actual use takes place.

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