Actual Use

Actual use of a trademark occurs when you use your trademark in connection with your goods or services.

But there are some caveats and conditions that must be met in order for your mark to qualify as “actual use”.

From U.S. Trademark Law 15 U.S.C. § 1127:
“The term ‘use in commerce’ means the bona fide use of a mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark.”

This means that you must be conducting business using this name, not merely making a sale or offering a service in order to reserve your naming rights.

In order to make trademark “use” on goods, you must meet the following two criteria:

  1. Your mark must appear on the goods themselves, their tags or labels, on their containers, or in certain cases on the displays associated with the goods,
  2. AND

  3. the goods are sold or transported in commerce.

In order to satisfy use requirements for services, the mark must either:

  1. be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services and the services are rendered in commerce,
  2. OR

  3. the services are rendered in more than one state or in the US and a foreign country.

Examples of activities qualifying as “use” on goods or services:

Examples of activities that DO NOT QUALIFY as “use” on goods or services:

COGNATE DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE — CONSULT AN ATTORNEY. COGNATE DOES NOT CREATE FEDERAL OR STATE TRADEMARK REGISTRATION