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trademark statement of use

What Should You Know About a Trademark Statement of Use

By John DiGiacomo

A “Trademark Statement of Use” is a legal document that provides sworn proof that a given trademark is being used in interstate commerce on the products or services with which the trademark is associated. More specifically, a Trademark Statement of Use is used with “intent-to-use” applications for federal trademark registration. If you have questions about trademarks or trademark statements of use, call us here at Revision Legal. We are top-rated and proven Trademark Lawyers. For a consultation, call us at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474. Here are a few things to know about Trademark Statements of Use.

Use Requirements for Trademarks

To have a legally valid trademark registration in the United States, the trademark MUST be used in interstate commerce. This is a legal requirement, and without use in interstate commerce, a trademark registration is invalid. Indeed, a trademark is not legally valid under common law rules if the trademark is not being used. From this legal requirement, any request for a trademark registration must be accompanied by proof of use.

Federal trademark registration is handled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Under current federal trademark laws, there are two types of trademark registration applications. We will call them “currently-being-used” applications and “intent-to-use” applications. The former is an application to register a trademark already being used in interstate commerce. In that type of application, the applicant must provide proof of the current (and past) use of the trademark.

By contrast, an intent-to-use application involves a new trademark that is not currently being used. The owner of the proposed trademark asserts that it plans to begin using the trademark “sometime soon.” In effect, the owner is asking for a temporary, provisional, and conditional registration of their proposed trademark. However, for the provisional trademark registration to “ripen,” the owner must begin to use the trademark in interstate commerce. Put another way, the USPTO will approve the new trademark, but on the condition that the owner begins to use the trademark. To prove this use, the owner must file a formal document with the USPTO called a Trademark Statement of Use (USPTO Form 1553 “Allegation of Use”). The USPTO’s approval is temporary because use must begin, and Form 1553 must be filed, within six months of approval. Failure to begin the use of the new trademark or to begin use within the deadline will nullify the USPTO’s approval. (It should be noted that an owner can request up to five extensions of the six-month deadline.)

Fees, Procedures, and Key Requirements

Currently, most documents filed with the USPTO must be filed electronically. The USPTO fees are currently $100 for each Statement of Use that must be filed. A separate Statement of Use must be filed for each class of goods or services with which the trademark is registered. All trademarks must be registered with at least one class of goods or services, and it is permissible and common for trademarks to be registered with multiple trademark classes. Examples of different classes include t-shirts, coffee mugs, kitchen appliances, automobiles, written materials, music, etc.

The key requirement of any Statement of Use is the provision of the proper specimens of use. With a physical product, examples include

  • Photos or other evidence of the trademark actually affixed to the product
  • Use of the trademark on labels, packaging, tags, instruction booklets, and more
  • Evidence of trademark use on point-of-sale displays
  • Use of trademark in marketing materials and on websites
  • And more

Contact the Trademark Attorneys at Revision Legal

For more information, contact the experienced Trademark Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.

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