A trademark applicant cannot assign an intent-to-use application before the applicant files an allegation of use (i.e., either an amendment to allege use under 15 U.S.C. §1051(c) or a statement of use under 15 U.S.C. §1051(d)), except to a successor to the applicant’s business, or portion of the business to which the mark pertains, if that business is ongoing and existing.  The primary purpose of this provision is to ensure that a trademark may only be assigned along with some business or goodwill, and to prevent trafficking in trademarks.

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