What if I want a trademark for a future business idea and don't have any specimens?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

Although in the US, trademarks are intended to actually be used in commerce, it is possible to secure a trademark for a future business idea, meaning you don't have to have specimens of use at the time of applying. You can simply file your application on an intent-to-use filing basis.

In this case, the USPTO will request the specimen from you later—after the examination of your application is done and after your mark has successfully passed through the opposition period. You will have six months to provide the specimen, which you can prolong by an additional six months if you ask for an extension. You are entitled to a maximum of five extensions, and although they would each be subject to an additional fee, this would give you 36 months from the initial USPTO request to provide the specimen, plenty of time to launch your business in commerce and produce a specimen to prove it.

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