This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here.

As of November 16, 1989, trademark applicants also have the option of “reserving” a trademark, without actually having used the mark in commerce, by filing for federal application of trademark. The applicant can apply based upon a good faith intention to use the proposed mark in commerce within a reasonable period of time. However, use of the trademark in an actual business context is required before a mark can be federally registered. Whether filing based on actual use or proposed use of a trademark, it is advantageous to file an application as quickly as possible.