Trademarks in the United States can be filed on the following basis:
- Use in commerce in (or with) the United States
- Intent to use in commerce in the United States
- Foreign application (within 6 months of filing of home application)
- Foreign registration
- International Registration through Madrid Protocol
Regardless of the basis of filing, each type of application follows along a specific path to registration, and depending upon the specific basis may require additional steps. For example, an application filed on the basis of intent to use must be converted to use prior to the issuance of a registration. See: Intent To Use information. Applications filed on the basis of use, are already in use so it is not necessary to convert them. As far as foreign priority applications (direct and international), those applications do not have to be placed in use in the United States for a registration to issue. This is due to international treaty requirements. However, all trademark registrations are vulnerable to attack at any time on the basis of non-use, and three (3) years of non-use is prima facie evidence of abandonment.
For questions about the process steps in a trademark application, please visit our flow chart web pages.