Register, Enforce, Defend Licensing And Litigation

Specimen Requirements

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:

  1. Applications based on use
  2. Filing an allegation of use or statement of use (intent-to-use applications)
  3. Filing a use affidavit (Section 8/71) [also known as maintenance application]
  4. 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:  labels showing the mark which are placed on or in connection with the goods and/or packaging of the goods; photographs of the mark as it appears on or in connection with the goods and/or packaging of the goods.
  • For services:  brochures or advertisements showing the mark as used in connection with the services; and/or web pages, or similar marketing materials showing the mark as used in connection with the services.

Specimens may not be:

  • Artist renderings, mock-ups, Photoshop or InDesign creations
  • Business cards, letterhead, envelopes, contracts, etc.

The specimens should be provided to us in JPG or PDF format with the total file size 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 up front, we can minimize the USPTO conducting an audit. Should the trademark not be in use on any goods or services covered by a 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.