TMEP 806: Filing Basis

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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806    Filing Basis

A filing basis is the statutory basis for filing an application for registration of a mark in the United States.  An applicant must specify and meet the requirements of one or more bases in a trademark or service mark application. 37 C.F.R. §2.32(a)(5).  There are five filing bases: (1) use of a mark in commerce under §1(a) of the Trademark Act; (2) bona fide intention to use a mark in commerce under §1(b) of the Act; (3) a claim of priority, based on an earlier-filed foreign application under §44(d) of the Act; (4) ownership of a registration of the mark in the applicant’s country of origin under §44(e) of the Act; and (5) extension of protection of an international registration to the United States, under §66(a) of the Act. See 15 U.S.C. §§1051(a)-(b), 1126(d)-(e), 1141f(a); 37 C.F.R. §2.34(a).

An applicant is not required to specify the basis for filing to receive a filing date. Kraft Grp. LLC v. Harpole, 90 USPQ2d 1837, 1840 (TTAB 2009).  If a §1 or §44 application does not specify a basis, the examining attorney must require in the first Office action that the applicant specify the basis for filing and submit all the elements required for that basis.  If the applicant timely responds to the first Office action, but fails to specify a basis for filing, or fails to submit all the elements required for a particular basis, the examining attorney will issue a final Office action, if the application is otherwise in condition for final action.

In a §66(a) application, the basis for filing will have been established in the international registration on file at the IB.

See 37 C.F.R. §2.34 and TMEP §806.01–(e) for a list of the requirements for each basis for trademark or service mark applications. See also 37 C.F.R. §§2.44(a)(4) and 2.45(a)(4), and TMEP §1303.01(a)(i)-(v), 1304.02(a)(i)-(v), and 1306.02(a)(i)-(v), for the requirements for each basis for collective and certification mark applications.