Types of USPTO Trademark Applications
Intent to Use Application
When filing a federal USPTO trademark application, a trademark applicant may file based on an intent to use, or a trademark application based on actual use. If filing based on an intent to use, the trademark application must be based on a bona fide intention to use the trademark in interstate commerce in the foreseeable future. Filing an intent to use application allows the trademark owner to establish trademark rights before actual use of the trademark begins. If a trademark applicant files a trademark application based on actual use, this means that the trademark is currently being used in interstate commerce.
Use-Based Trademark Applications
The federal trademark registration process is a lot more complex that it appears. Generally, a business can only establish rights in a trademark by using the actual trademark in commerce. A trademark application filed with the USPTO after commercial use of the trademark is commonly called a “use-based” trademark application.
Intent-To-Use Trademark Applications
A trademark application may be filed by the business before commercial use of the trademark, so long as the business or entrepreneur can allege a bona fide “intent to use” the mark in commerce with its goods or services. This trademark filing basis for application is commonly called the “intent-to-use” or “ITU” application.
However, the USPTO will not issue a trademark registration until the business applicant files a Statement of Use or Amendment to Allege Use demonstrating that it has commenced use of the trademark in commerce.