Glossary | USPTO

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an image or document, usually attached to a filing that shows the applicant’s mark as actually used in the marketplace on the applicant’s products, product packaging and displays associated with the products, or in sale , advertising or display of the applicant’s products and services identified in the application or claim for use. The USPTO accepts labels, tags, packaging or containers of goods as specimens of use for a mark. The USPTO also accepts web pages showing or describing the product close to the brand and with sufficient purchase information (such as a shopping cart button) for the products. For a service mark, the USPTO accepts specimens that consist of advertising and marketing materials such as advertisements on web pages or direct mail or email advertisements. The USPTO requires a specimen for each category of goods or services listed in a trademark application.

The USPTO requires specimens for the following repositories:

(1) Applications based on actual use in commerce under Article 1 (a) of the Trademark Law
(2) A use claim (either an amendment to the use claim (AAU) or a declaration of use (SOU)), when a use is claimed in an application initially based on an intention to good faith to use the mark in trade under section 1 (b)
(3) Maintenance documents filed after registration.

Specimens are not required in applications based on a foreign application or foreign registration under section 44, or for applications based on section 66 (a). However, the USPTO requires specimens for both of these types of claims in maintenance documents filed after registration.

– for more information on specimens of trademarks and service marks, see TMEP §§904, 1301.04.
– for information on specimens of certification marks, see TMEP §1306.04 (c)1306.04 (d).
– for information on specimens for collective marks, see TMEP §§1303.01 (a) (i) (C), 1304.03 (b).


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