There are two types of applications that may be filed in the USPTO: actual use based or intent-to-use.

Trademark Example

Sideswipe
REGISTERED TRADEMARK 3,432,286

Trademark Fact

The same mark can be registered with the U.S. Trademark Office by different parties for different goods or services as long as consumers are unlikely to be confused by the different uses.

An application for registration is filed with the USPTO. The application includes the proposed mark and a description of the goods or services associated with the mark.

An actual use-based application is filed if the mark has already been put in use in interstate commerce. It states the date of first use along with the mark and a description of goods and services on which the mark is used. A specimen or actual sample of the goods showing use of the mark is also filed with the application.

An intent-to-use application is filed if the mark is not yet in use but the owner has decided to put the mark in use in the near future. An intent-to-use application includes a sworn statement that states the applicant has a real intention to use the mark in commerce. The applicant does not need to file a specimen or actual sample of the goods showing use of the mark until the application is allowed by the USPTO.

Once filed, an application may take several months or more to be examined. In addition to examining the application for conformance to various registration requirements, an examining attorney compares the proposed mark with registrations for the same or similar marks that include a similar identification of goods or services. The examining attorney will allow the application to proceed to registration if there are no registrations for confusingly similar marks. A certificate of registration is issued when all of the registration requirements have been met.