What Is the Date of First Use Anywhere?
A date of first use anywhere is the date when (1) the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered, under the mark, and (2) such use was bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade. The date the mark was first used “anywhere” means such use in the United States or elsewhere, regardless of whether the nature of the use was local or national, intrastate or interstate, or of another type.
The date of first use anywhere will always be earlier than or the same as the date of first use in commerce.
What Is the Date of First Use in Commerce?
A date of first use in commerce is the date when (1) the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered, under the mark in a type of commerce that may be lawfully regulated by the U.S. Congress (such as interstate commerce or commerce between the United States and a foreign country), and (2) such use was bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.
What is "Use in Commerce?"
The term “use in commerce” means the bona fide use of a mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark. For purposes of this Act, a mark shall be deemed to be in use in commerce–
(1) on goods when—
(A) it is placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or the displays associated therewith or on the tags or labels affixed thereto, or if the nature of the goods makes such placement impracticable, then on documents associated with the goods or their sale, and
(B) the goods are sold or transported in commerce, and
(2) on services when it is used or displayed in the sale or advertising of services and the services are rendered in commerce, or the services are rendered in more than one State or in the United States and a foreign country and the person rendering the services is engaged in commerce in connection with the services.
Types of Commerce
The scope of federal trademark jurisdiction is commerce that may be regulated by the U.S. Congress. The types of commerce encompassed in this definition are interstate, territorial, and between the United States and a foreign country.
Intrastate use of a mark may qualify as use in commerce within the meaning of the Act if the intrastate use is of a type that would, taken in the aggregate, have a direct effect on interstate commerce.
“Territorial commerce” is commerce within a territory of the United States (e.g., Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, or the U.S. Virgin Islands) or between the United States and a territory of the United States.
Between the USA and a Foreign Country
The term “foreign” is not acceptable to specify the type of commerce in which a mark is used, because it does not clearly indicate that the mark is in use in a type of commerce that the U.S. Congress can lawfully regulate. Unless the “foreign commerce” involves the United States, Congress does not have the power to regulate it. Use of a mark in a foreign country does not give rise to rights in the United States if the goods or services are not sold or rendered in the United States.