Trademark Statements of Use (SOU)
The Purpose of an SOU
The matter of Statements of Use most often arises when an applicant initially files an Intent to Use, 1(b) Trademark Application and needs to perfect it with a Statement of Use in order for the TM application to register. Remember, in order for a name/logo/slogan to rise to the level of an actual Trademark, it must be used in interstate commerce. However, most startups and small businesses have not yet used their mark in interstate commerce at the time of filing because their companies are just starting out and sales have not yet been made. Thus, the purpose of the Intent to use application is to instruct the USPTO, we are not yet using the mark in commerce but we Intend to use it in the future. The USPTO responds, ‘Great – submit your 1(b) intent to use application now and a Statement of Use in 6 months’.
What is a Statement of Use
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires a desired name/logo/slogan to be used in commerce before awarding it trademark rights. In order for the applicant to convey to the USPTO that the trademark does, in fact, meet the Use in Commerce requirement, the applicant must submit a Statement of Use. A Trademark Statement of Use is made by submitting a form provided by the USPTO, which can only be submitted once the desired trademark is actually being used in commerce. Basically, a Statement of Use is a signed declaration to the USPTO that the trademark is now being used in commerce