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Establishing Trademark Rights

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Under common law, the first person to use a trademark on a product in actual commerce, is considered to have trademark rights. Before the 1990s, one could only establish trademark rights by using the trademark in commerce on actual products.

At present, intent to use trademarks can now be filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, even though the actual federal registration will not issue until the actual mark is used in commerce. As long as the application is in good standing, however, and proper extensions of time are filed until the trademark is actually used in commerce (up to three years is acceptable), then the application filing date shall be considered the date of first use, thus reserving the applicant’s trademark rights.

You would be wise to consult with a Florida trademark attorney first, before undertaking any trademark matters with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

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