[caption id="attachment_1816" align="alignright" width="265"]Taco Bell filed an "Intent to Use" application for this trademark before rollng out its new breakfast menu.[/caption]
To obtain a federal trademark registration, you must be using the trademark "in commerce" (i.e. for commercial purposes). In many instances, an applicant will already be using the mark before filing the application. But, what if you are the maker of the world's most delicious fast food (Note: I love Taco Bell) and want to reserve a filing date before publicly launching your new delicious breakfast menu? In that case, you can file an "Intent to Use" application.
In addition to an extra fee, an "Intent to Use" application requires a bona fide intent to use the trademark and that the product associated with the mark be more than just an idea. You have six months from when the Trademark Office allows the application to use the mark (and file a "Statement of Use") or file an extension. Although you must file an "Intent to Use" application if you are not yet using the trademark, filing an "Intent to Use" application can be a good strategy if you are deciding between multiple trademarks (and have the capital for multiple applications) or want to confirm that a trademark can be federally registered before a product launches. For instance, Taco Bell filed an "Intent to Use" trademark application for "Wake Up- Live MÃ¡s" in July of 2013 and rolled out its breakfast menu nation-wide late last month.
My wife and I recently sampled the Sausage Breakfast Burrito and the Bacon Waffle Taco from Taco Bell's new breakfast menu. They were both delicious (Note: We love Taco Bell). The Breakfast Burrito is exactly what you would expect, but given Taco Bell's burrito expertise, much better than competing fast food choices (just ask Ronald McDonald). The Waffle Taco, however, is a whole new ball game: a delicious taco-shaped waffle stuffed with bacon eggs that you dip into syrup. I fully expect a new outbreak of TNS (Taco Neck Syndrome).
The lawyers at Trademarkology provide online trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.