How to Trademark a Product Before it Exists?

For the ones who still haven't started their business and wish to secure their idea can opt for an intent-to-use category in the trademark registration process. This helps you to register your product as a trademark even before it exists.

Trademark can be a name, logo or a slogan which provides an identity to your business and protects your brand. If you want to use any product or your brand name commercially, then it has to be registered legally under the Trademark Act 1999. Trademark Registration provides you exclusive rights to the usage and protection of the product or brand name.

You can apply for a trademark in case your product is already on the market, or you plan to use the same in future. You need to analyse which option will work better for your business and apply for the registration accordingly. However, there are a few confusions about the concept of intent-to-use. This article will answer all the questions arising in the mind of the applicants.

What is intent-to-use?

In case you wish to start a business or have an idea in mind then you must protect it by applying for a trademark for intent-to-use. It is filed in case your product or service is not in use currently, but you wish to do it in the future.

Once you have applied, it becomes necessary to use the trademark within five years from the date of filing. The trademark will get registered if you show proof of its usage in the market.

How to register under intent-to-use?

While applying for your trademark, the ‘proposed to use’ option has to be selected. The applicant would require filling an additional form which is different from the usual trademark registration form. The filing date will be used as the date when the trademark was used for the first time. There are simple steps of trademark registration which an applicant needs to follow while registering through ITU.

Merits of filing ITU(Intent-to-Use)

There are a few benefits of applying intent-to-use. Here are a few of them.

  • You get plenty of time in case your mark is already registered.
  • You will know the initial setbacks and correct them accordingly.
  • In case you notice any possibilities of your mark getting infringed then you can file a claim to protect it.
  • You have the freedom to start the registration before using the mark.

Summing up

Start-ups or aspiring entrepreneurs can safeguard their products even if they are yet to enter the market. The ITU option allows protecting the idea behind the product and makes sure any other party does not infringe it.

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