Use Specimens: Use specimens show the manner in which the mark is used (i.e. how it is seen by the consumers). Thus, the specimen must show the mark the way it is actually used in commerce. At least one specimen is required for each class.
- A proper use specimen for goods (Classes 1 – 34) must show the mark affixed on the outside of the goods or packaging (typically a label or tag attached to the actual goods) or on a point of sale display associated with the goods and the goods must be sold or transported in commerce.
- A proper use specimen for services (Classes 35 – 45) must show the mark as actually used in the sale or advertising of the services recited in the application or in the course of providing the services.
Consumers need to view a mark as a source indicator (ie, brand). Specimens where the mark is buried in prose or otherwise displayed in a way that would not suggest the function as a source indicator (eg., as mere ornamentation) are rarely if ever sufficient.
- On the goods
- On labels /tags attached to the goods
- On packaging, bags, boxes containing the goods
- Prominently on a user manual
- On a point of sale display (eg., an in-store display where the goods are available for purchase)
- Printed or online catalogue only if it shows an image of the goods and including a means (eg., an online shopping cart or a telephone number) and invitation to place an order (eg, “Call now”); An online catalogue should show the URL and date last accessed.
- On an advertisement
- On a brochure
- On a website (provided the URL and date of last access is shown)
- On letterhead or business cards
- On invoices
All of the above only if they specifically reference the service and in doing so, create an association between the mark and service
- The mark by itself
- A tag or label not affixed to the actual goods
- Packaging in which the goods are not contained
- On a printer’s proof, mock-up, or artist’s rendering
- On an invoice
- On an advertisements or brochure
- On a display where the goods are not actually available for purchase (eg., images at trade shows)
- An online catalogue that does not include the URL and date of last access
- The mark by itself
- A website that does not include the URL and date of last access
- Any of the acceptable examples set forth above, if they lack a reference to the service or an association between the mark and the service
Examples of acceptable and unacceptable use specimens for goods and services follow in the sections below.
Further information about acceptable and unacceptable use specimens is also available on the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/specimen-refusal-and-how-overcome-refusal.