If you have recently filed an “intent to use” application for a mark or logo in connection with your business, it may be time to file a Statement of Use.
But what exactly is a Statement of Use?
Do I need one for my business? And will I have to pay a Statement of Use fee?
These are questions that many people have, but fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process on your own.
What Is a Statement of Use (SOU)?
A Statement of Use for trademark purposes is a form you must file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as part of the Intent to Use (ITU) trademark application process. Specifically, an SOU verifies to the USPTO that the applicant is actually using the applied-for trademark in commerce.
Importantly, your SOU must include a specimen, or real-world evidence, of your trademark being used in connection with your goods or services in the marketplace.
A proper specimen will depend on your mark, how you are using it and the classes that you designate in your trademark application.
A few examples of proper specimens might include:
- Website printouts or other advertising materials showing the trademark being used in connection with your business’s services;
- A product container or packaging with the applied-for trademark affixed as a label; or
- Photos of your trademark being used on the products you sell.
Being able to show that your business is actually using the applied-for mark in commerce is imperative to a successful SOU. Thus, make sure that your specimen, and the rest of your SOU form, meets all the requirements.
What is the Statement of Use Filing Fee?
Before submitting your form, don’t forget that there are some Statement of Use fee requirements to be aware of. The Statement of Use filing fee is $200 per class if filing by paper.
However, the Statement of Use filing fee is only $100 if filing electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Thus, while you can file by paper, electronic filing through TEAS is generally the preferred method.
Do I Need a Statement of Use for Trademark Filings?
If you file an ITU application, you will have to file a SOU at some point to obtain your trademark registration.
A Statement of Use must be filed within six months of the date of issuance of the Notice of Allowance (NOA) from the USPTO. If you are not yet using your mark in commerce and are not ready to file your SOU, you may file a request for an extension.
However, make sure to keep careful records of these important dates and deadlines. Failure to file either your extension request or SOU on time can result in an abandoned application.
Assuming all other requirements have been met, once your SOU form is filed and approved, you will receive your registration.
Contact a Trademark Litigation Attorney Today
The Polasek Law Firm (TPLF) can help you with your Statement of Use and all other steps in the trademark registration process.
Of course, you can register a trademark on your own—there is no requirement that you must have an attorney.
Nevertheless, hiring an experienced trademark attorney who is familiar with the requirements and nuances of the process can be a fantastic benefit and can avoid costly mistakes.
If you have questions about how to validly register your trademark, TPLF is ready to help. With decades of experience handling intellectual property cases of all kinds, TPLF has the knowledge and resources necessary to provide excellent representation to its clients.