Do I need to register or apply for a trademark before using it?

There is no requirement to apply for a trademark prior to using it. Trademark rights in the U.S. are granted to theĀ first one who uses a mark in commerce on particular goods or services, not to those who are first to file with the exception of Intent-To-Use applications that ultimately mature into registrations. If you’re […]

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Where can I find an IP checklist for startup companies?

What is an IP checklist? An IP checklist helps a startup company to make sure that fundamental IP rights are adequately protected. At a minimum, startups should take necessary steps to register trademarks and file patent applications for any unique concepts. Here are some key IP issues that entrepreneurs should consider during the early stages […]

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What is trademark use in commerce?

What is use in commerce? To establish trademark rights in the US, a trademark owner generally must be the first to use a mark in commerce on particular goods or services. There are a few exceptions to this general rule such as when the applicant owns a foreign registration or files an Intent-To-Use application. In […]

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What is an inherently distinctive trademark?

What is an inherently distinctive trademark? An inherently distinctive trademark is a mark that lacks descriptive wording in relation to your goods or services. It’s tempting to choose a name or term that describes a quality or characteristic of your product. Resist that temptation and try to come up with a mark that is fanciful […]

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What is a trademark rejection?

What is a trademark rejection? Not all trademark Office Actions are the same. Your application may receive a trademark rejection, or a registration refusal, which will require greater effort to overcome. On the other hand, an Office Action may be issued in your trademark application raising minor issues that can be resolved without arguments. Let’s […]

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TTAB trademark oppositions and cancellations: What to know

Trademark opposition or cancellation: What are the differences? Trademark oppositions and cancellations are adversarial proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the USPTO to defeat the registration of a mark. A trademark opposition seeks to block a trademark application from registering. A trademark cancellation seeks to cancel a registered mark. Therefore, oppositions […]

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What is an (ITU) Intent-To-Use trademark application?

What is an Intent-To-Use application? Registration of a trademark generally requires use of the mark in commerce. So how is it possible to apply for registration when a trademark has not yet been used? As implied in it name, an Intent-To-Use trademark application (ITU application) allows an applicant to file an application to register a […]

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