Mahomet, IL asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois

Q: Is this legal to use on a tee shirt of your own design

Can that trademark be used on a shirt like at

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ

A: Hello. The trademark application in the link actually never got registered. They filed the application as an "intent to use" application, meaning that they were not using the mark in commerce at that time, but intended to do so at some time in the future. Their application was allowed back in 2014, but with an intent to use application, the applicant eventually has to submit proof that they have started using the mark in commerce (called a "statement of use"). You are allowed six months to file that statement of use, but can get up to five extensions for six more months. They used up all five of their extensions, but still never filed the required statement of use, so the application was abandoned as of April of this year. In order to seek protection again, they would have to start over from scratch with a new application.

As such, that particular filing doesn't cause an immediate problem for your desired use. However, understand that this applicant may well have finally started using this mark in commerce, and if they did so, they would have priority over you for any such use. In other words, even though that application was abandoned, it's still a big red flag that you need to be concerned about what they might be doing with that mark.

Of course, there may well be other trademarks out there that could cause you a problem as well. I have not done a search of any sort, and have only examined the links you provided.


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