Q.Does a mark have to be in-use before filing a trademark application?
A.No. In the United States, you are permitted to file an Intent-to-Use Application with the Patent and Trademark Office so long as the applicant has a good faith intent to use the mark in the near future.
If an Intent-To-Use Application has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the applicant will have to file an Amendment to Allege Use any time between the filing date of the application and the date the Examining Attorney approves the mark for publication. If the Examining Attorney has issued a Notice of Allowance to file a Statement of Use, then the Applicant must do so within 6 months, or request an extension of time. If the applicant fails to file either an Amendment to Allege Use or a Statement of Use within the time limits allowed, then the application will be declared abandoned. No registration will be granted.