Before a trademark application matures into a registration, the public has an opportunity to challenge a pending trademark application.
After a preliminary approval of the trademark application by the USPTO trademark examining attorney, the USPTO will publish the mark for opposition in the Official Gazette, a weekly USPTO publication. When a mark is published for opposition, any member of the public who believes it may be damaged by the registration of the mark may file an opposition with the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). A third party may also file an extension of time to oppose if more time is required to investigate the possibility of an opposition.
The USPTO will send a Notice of Publication to the applicant stating the date of publication, which starts the 30-day period. If no oppositions or extensions of time are filed, then a use-based application will proceed to registration while an intent-to-use (ITU) application will proceed to a Notice of Allowance which then triggers a 6-month deadline for filing a Statement of Use. If the applicant has not yet used the trademark in connection with the goods or services identified in the ITU application by the 6-month deadline, an applicant may request further 6-month extensions of time for submitting use of the trademark for a maximum total of three years from the Notice of Allowance date.