I have a great idea for a product and I want to trademark the name but the product is still in the development stage. What can I do to protect the concept?


The USPTO allows you to file a trademark on an “intent to use basis” even if you have not yet used your mark in commerce.  Compared to a “used in commerce” application, the "intent to use" application process has two additional hoops to jump through.  First, it must include a sworn statement (usually in the form of a declaration) that you have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce. Second, after you’ve received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO based on your initial application, you will then have six months to provide evidence of actual use (by filing an "Allegation of Use" form).  Extensions are available for a fee.  The filing fee for this form is an additional $100 per class.  Your filing date, for priority purposes, will be your initial application date.