You need to submit specimens of use immediately when you file a trademark application based on use.
If you file a trademark application based on an intent to use, specimens of use are not required with the initial filing and can be submitted later.
However, you will need to submit specimens of use before your trademark is registered. Your trademark will not register until a Statement of Use is filed. If you didn’t start using some of the products and services, they will have to be deleted from the application (or the application could be divided).
Do you always have to file a Statement of Use? No, there is one exception from which foreign applicants can usually benefit. This is when a US application is based on a foreign registration. In such a case, the intent-to use filing basis may be deleted, and a US application may proceed to registration on the basis of the foreign registration alone assuming all other conditions for registration are satisfied.
After your trademark registers, you will need to file specimens of use to maintain your registration (between the 5th and the 6th year after registration). You will also need to file specimens of use when you renew your trademark registration.
If you are not sure if specimens of use are required, call Trademark Angel.
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