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Frequently Asked Questions

What does use in commerce mean in the context of filing a trademark?

In the context of filing a trademark, use in commerce refers to the application of the trademark on products or in advertising services. This term is part of the trademark registration process, which is a crucial step for businesses looking to protect their brand identity. The “use in commerce” basis for filing a trademark indicates that the trademark is already in use in the marketplace. This could be in the form of a business name, a stylized/design mark like a logo, or even a sound mark such as a tune or jingle. The use in commerce requirement is distinct from the intent to use basis for filing a trademark. The latter signifies that the product or service is ready for the market, but the trademark has not been introduced yet. This requires an additional form and fee. The trademark registration process, including the use in commerce requirement, is overseen by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The process involves strict deadlines and public disclosure of application information. If the application is successful, the trademark is usually valid for 10 years.

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