What is a statement of use?
One of the bases for filing a federal trademark application is “intent to use,” which means that you intend to eventually use the mark in interstate commerce, but you have not used it yet. If an intent to use application is granted by the PTO, the PTO will issue a notice of allowance. This notice indicates that your mark has been approved for registration and that you have six months to begin using the mark and to file a statement of use. This statement of use is simply a sworn statement which attests to the fact that you have begun using the mark in commerce. When you file the statement of use, you must also file an appropriate specimen with the PTO. Once the PTO receives your statement of use and specimen, your trademark will be registered.
As noted, the notice of allowance gives you a six month window to file a statement of use. If you need more time, you can file a request for extension of time to file a statement of use. These requests are routinely granted by the PTO and will give you an additional six months to file the statement of use. You can repeatedly file such requests, in order to continue extending this period - however, a statement of use must be filed within three years from when the original notice of allowance was issued. If a statement of use is not timely filed, the PTO will refuse to register the mark (this is to prevent people from “squatting” on marks indefinitely).