Demonstrating Use in Commerce for Trademark Applications

Navigating Use in Commerce Requirements Under the Lanham Act and for Purposes of Registration

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide trademark counsel on "use in commerce" for trademark applications under the Lanham Act as well as for trademark registrations. The panel will discuss the impact of recent decisions on use in commerce and offer strategies for providing evidence of use in commerce.


The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's (TTAB) precedential opinion in Tao Licensing L.L.C. v. Bender Consulting Ltd. d/b/a Asian Pacific Beverages (2017) emphasized the need to demonstrate actual use in commerce to register a mark. The TTAB distinguished decisions by the Federal Circuit in which the court held that evidence of just one sale qualified as use in commerce under the Lanham Act.

To prove use of a trademark in commerce, the applicant must demonstrate that each of the specific goods and services in the application or registration is currently sold and delivered to U.S. customers under the mark. Counsel to trademark applicants must understand what it takes to show sufficient nexus between the trademark and the use of the mark while meeting the USPTO's specimen requirements.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines what "use in commerce" is under the Lanham Act and for trademark registration purposes. The panel will discuss proper or acceptable evidence of use in commerce and offer best practices for demonstrating use in commerce.



  1. Use in commerce
    1. Under the Lanham Act
    2. For purposes of trademark registration
  2. Proper or acceptable evidence of use in commerce
  3. Best practices for demonstrating use in commerce


The panel will review these and other noteworthy issues:

  • How will the TTAB's reading of what constitutes use of a mark impact applications or registrations?
  • What is the effect of the Federal Circuit's fairly broad interpretation of use in commerce in determining what is necessary to register a trademark?
  • What strategies should counsel employ to demonstrate sufficient nexus between a trademark and use of the mark in commerce?


Litowitz, Robert
Robert D. Litowitz

Kelly IP

Mr. Litowitz has over 30 years of experience in litigating patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property...  |  Read More

Sullivan, Kelu
Kelu L. Sullivan

Kelly IP

Ms. Sullivan helps clients select, register, and enforce their trademarks and copyrights, representing her clients in...  |  Read More

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