Do I have to use my trademark before filing for registration?

No. You can file an intent-to-use application to obtain a priority date for your mark but you will not receive a registration number until the mark is used in commerce. An intent-to-use applicant has up to 3 years to submit proof of use or the application will be abandoned. Filing a trademark application before using the mark in commerce puts the public on notice of your intent to use the mark within the near future.

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