There are 4 filing bases on which an application may be based. One filing basis is use of the mark in commerce (the other three are filing based on an intent-to-use the mark in commerce, filing based on a pending foreign application, and filing based on a foreign registration). Applicants who file based on use in commerce must be using the mark they wish to register with the goods or services in the application prior to or at the time of filing the application.
To base the application on the applicant's use of the mark in commerce, the applicant must submit the following four items: (1) A statement that the mark is in use in commerce, as defined by 15 U.S.C. S1127, and was in use in such commerce on or in connection with the goods or services listed in the application on the application filing date; (2) The date of the applicant's first use of the mark anywhere on or in connection with the goods or services; (3) The date of the applicant's first use of the mark in commerce as a trademark or service mark; and (4) One specimen for each class showing how the applicant actually uses the mark in commerce. If the specimen is not filed with the initial application, applicant must submit a statement that the specimen was in use in commerce at least as early as the application filing date. These items must be verified by the applicant, i.e., supported either by an affidavit or by a declaration under 37 C.F.R. SS2.20 and 2.33. Trademark Act Section 1(a), 15 U.S.C. S1051(a); 37 C.F.R. SS2.34(a)(1) and 2.59(a); TMEP S806.01(a).
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.