If you filed your trademark application on an intent-to-use basis, the Trademark Office will issue the Notice of Allowance once the 30 day opposition period has expired. You then have six months to show the Trademark Office that you are actually using your trademark in commerce in connection with all of the products services listed in your trademark application. If you are unable to make use of your trademark within those six months, you may file a Request for an Extension of Time.
A Request for an Extension of Time is basically a sworn statement that you still have a bona fide intention to use your trademark in commerce, but that you require more time to put your trademark in use. The Extension of Time buys you an additional six months in which to make use of your trademark and to file the Statement of Use. Once you file the Statement of Use and it is accepted by the Trademark Office, the Certificate of Registration will be issued within a few months.
You may request up to five Extensions of Time before you must file the Statement of Use. In each Request, you have to swear that you continue to have a bona fide intention to use your trademark in connection with all of the products or services recited in your trademark application. In the alternative, you may delete the specific products/services from your application for which you no longer have such intention and limit your Request to only the remaining products/services. Furthermore, in every Request after the first one, you are required to generally inform the Trademark Office of what efforts you have made over the previous six months to use your trademark in commerce (e.g. product research and development, promotional activities, etc.).
In the vast majority of cases, the Trademark Office automatically grants a Request for an Extension of Time so long as you meet all of the formal requirements and pay the government filing fees. As with most Trademark Office filings, it is critical that the Extension of Time be properly prepared and timely filed in order to ensure that your trademark application does not go abandoned.
If you have any questions about the purpose of filing a Request for an Extension of Time, or need some assistance with preparing and submitting a Request for an Extension of Time, I would be happy to speak with you at absolutely no cost. I look forward to hearing from you soon.