Owning a Federal trademark registration provides several distinct advantages, including the ability to file a trademark lawsuit to protect the mark. In order to obtain a trademark, applicants must be able to show current use of the mark in commerce, or their intent to use their mark “in commerce” in the future. What do you mean “in commerce?” According to the USPTO, “use in commerce” must be a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of inter-state 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 have already started using the mark in commerce, you may file a “use” based application. It 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. The application should also include a specimen showing use of the mark in commerce.

How Can I Help?

There are many other factors that must be considered before formally filing a trademark application. If you, or someone you know, need help with any Intellectual Property issue, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just advice regarding how best to protect your ideas and your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call (213) 785-8070 and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  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 +