The intention to use a trademark is one of the five filing bases provided by trademark law. The intent to use (ITU) application type is ideal if you know what your trademark will be, but you are not yet using it in commerce. Since priority is dictated by earliest use, the ITU application can be advantageous, as your priority will be determined upon the filing date. In other words, you don’t have to wait until you are using the trademark to be first in line!
When filing an ITU application, the applicant must certify that they have a real intention to use the mark in commerce. Unlike a use-based application, the applicant of an ITU application is not required to file a specimen at the time of filing. Instead, a later-filed allegation of use must be submitted after the applicant has started using the mark in commerce.
The allegation of use must include the specimen and an additional fee. Upon acceptance of the allegation of use, the application is converted to a use-based application and it is as if the application had initially been filed as that application type.
An ITU trademark application is also known as a Section 1(b) application.