A specimen is a sample of your trademark as used in commerce. It is real-life evidence of how you are actually using your trademark in the marketplace with the goods or services in your application or registration maintenance filing. It’s what consumers see when they are considering whether to purchase the goods or services you provide in connection with your trademark. A specimen shows your trademark as actually used in a way that directly associates the trademark with the goods or services.
Specimens are required:
Applications based on use
Filing an allegation of use or statement of use (intent-to-use applications)
Filing a use affidavit (Section 8/71) [also known as maintenance application]
Filing a renewal application (Section 9)
One specimen (evidence) showing the use of the mark in the United States commerce for each class of goods/services listed in the application or registration. The specimen(s) must clearly show use of the mark with the specific goods and/or services. For word marks, it must be the word that is shown. For design/logo marks, it must be that specific logo form.
Specimens may be in the nature of:
For goods: photographs of (1) the actual goods bearing the mark; (2) an actual container, packaging, tag or label for the goods bearing the mark; or (3) a point-of-sale display showing the mark directly associated with the goods. (Note: A webpage specimen submitted as a display associated with the goods must show the mark in association with a picture or textual description of the goods and include information necessary for ordering the goods.)
For services: must show a direct association between the mark and the services and include: (1) copies of advertising and marketing material, (2) a photograph of business signage or billboards, or (3) materials showing the mark in the sale, rendering, or advertising of the services.
Special Note for webpages: Any webpage printout or screenshot submitted as a specimen must include the webpage’s URL and the date it was accessed or printed on the specimen itself.
Specimens may not be:
Artist renderings, mock-ups, Photoshop or InDesign creations
Business cards, letterhead, envelopes, contracts, etc.
Specimens should not be "product shots" as they are typically questioned by the USPTO as being mock-ups. The photographs should be simple photographs without any editing. The objective is to show the USPTO that the trademark is being used in the United States.
The specimens should be provided to us in JPG or PDF format with the total file size of less than 2MB.
Note: Maintenance and Renewal Applications: The USPTO is routinely auditing maintenance and renewal applications. We recommend that you provide at least 3 specimens for different goods and services in each class. By filing additional evidence upfront, we can minimize the USPTO conducting an audit. Should the trademark not be in use on any goods or services covered by registration, it is best to delete those not in use at the time of filing to minimize an audit and to avoid a later deficiency surcharge.