As mentioned in our Trademarks Part 2 blog, the US Patent and Trademark Office has two general types of domestic trademark applications. These are the 1(a) and 1(b) applications. A 1(b) trademark application is an Intent to Use (ITU) application. This means that you have not yet started using the proposed mark in commerce, but you have a bona fide intent to use it within the very near future. A 1(a) trademark application is used when the filing party has established use of the mark.

Intent to Use Application

So, why file under 1(b)? Well, things move very quickly in today’s electronically-focused business world, and new businesses pop up every day. Here is a great reason why you might consider filing a 1(b) trademark application:

You have a great idea and want to make sure you get there before someone else. You can protect your clever name for your business by being the first to file a 1(b) application, assuming that there is no other business out there that is already using that name or mark. 1(b) registrations revert back to the date of the original filing, so the faster you file your ITU, the further back in time your protections will relate.

Process

You can never protect against someone who is already using the name for a legitimate business purposes. The first company to properly file a 1(b) will usually be granted the registration. When multiple 1(b) applications are filed for the same or substantially similar name, usually the later applications will be suspended until the first filed application is either granted registration, or abandoned. If abandoned, the next in line will be given the opportunity to register its mark.

One area where this consideration is very important today is mobile application development. A quick look at any of the mobile app stores on the web will tell you the story. There are many competitors, and many applications striving to provide the best experience or best service within their niche. And, within the same genre of applications, there are only so many names, and many of them already taken.

Likelihood of Confusion

Going back to our first blog, Trademarks – Part 1, you’ll remember that registration can be subject to the likelihood of confusion test. This is critical among the same class of goods or services. Likelihood of confusion is highest when there multiple applicants that all provide the same good or service.

In my example market, mobile app developers/owners need to be careful how they name and market their product. They don’t want to infringe another mark by picking a name similar to one that already exists. This will hinder their own registration.

 

For more information, please contact us at below.

Disclaimer

The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Any information is meant strictly for legal educational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

© 2020 Law Plus Plus

Relationship

By contacting an attorney, you are presenting the option for that attorney to accept your case, and that attorney has the option to accept or reject your case. Any information presented to an attorney at Law Plus Plus does not automatically create an attorney client relationship.

Security

We make no warranties as to the security of information presented or submitted through this website.

Monthly NewsletterGet new articles and firm updates directly to your inbox!