FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Can I Trademark a Brand Before It Is Launched? (Intent-to-Use Trademarks)

What if you have an idea for a brand you want to protect but haven't launched your product or service yet?

Is it possible to trademark a brand before an organization uses it?


Can I Trademark a Brand Before It Is Launched?

You may be wondering: Can you trademark a name, logo, tagline, or anything before you become known through that brand in the marketplace?

And the answer is yes. We can even tell you how to trademark a brand. 

Filing for trademark application in respect of a brand that has not yet been launched is the only way to protect that brand.

Intent-to-Use Trademarks or Proposed-Use Trademarks

So what's it called?  Intent-to-Use trademarks in the U.S. or Proposed-Use trademarks in Canada. These trademarks are very common, and the process for filing is relatively straightforward.

To file an Intent-to-Use or Proposed-Use trademark, you just tell the Trademarks Office that that's the brand you want to claim and that you haven't yet commenced using it in commerce but are genuinely intending to start doing it in the nearest future. You will need to document that the proposed trademark will be used with your brand.

In Canada and the U.S., you won't get your trademark registered until you declare and show to them that you have already started using the brand. But you can file for the application, it will go through all the regular steps, all the way up to allowance, but it will stay allowed until you file the Declaration of Use in Canada or Statement of Use in the US, at which point it will get registered. Essentially, this allowance gives you time and protection while establishing your brand and its associated trademarks. Once your brand is specified, your Intent-to-Use trademark (or Proposed-use trademark) becomes a regular trademark like any other. It’s important to remember that you also need a unique brand in each jurisdiction. So if you file an Intent-to-Use trademark in the U.S. and a Proposed-Use trademark in Canada, those are two different trademarks.

How to Trademark a Brand in the U.S.

All trademarks in the U.S. are filed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The first step is ensuring that you have a name, image, logo, etc., that qualifies for trademark. The purpose of a trademark is to protect your ownership over an identifying product. Therefore, your brand needs to be strong, unique, and distinguishable. Once you have that, you can submit your trademark application to the USPTO.

Don’t Wait to File a Trademark

So don't wait to protect your brand simply because you think you need to put the brand out there first and then trademark it. If you believe you would feel safer having your brand protected before the launch, file an Intent-to-Use trademark, launch it, and just file all the paperwork for the trademark office to get it registered. Get in touch with one of our advisors for support filing your Intent-to-Use trademark today.


Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.