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What Is A Specimen?

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Question: What Is A Specimen?
Answer: A specimen is an actual example of how you are would use a trademark in commerce in connection with the goods and/or services that your trademark represents. This is not the same as the drawing of the trademark, which depicts what you are claiming as the trademark.

When to File the Specimens

If the applicant has already used the mark in commerce and files based on this use in commerce, then the applicant must submit one specimens per class showing use of the mark in commerce with the application. If, instead, the application is based on a bona fide intention to use mark in commerce, the applicant must one specimens per class at the time the applicant files either an AMENDMENT TO ALLEGE USE or a STATEMENT OF USE.

What to File as a Specimen

The specimens must be actual samples of how the mark is being used in commerce.

Goods - Acceptable

If the mark is used on goods, examples of acceptable specimens are tags or labels which are attached to the goods, containers for the goods, displays associated with the goods, or photographs of the goods showing use of the mark on the goods themselves. If it is impractical to send an actual specimen because of its size, photographs or other acceptable reproductions that show the mark on the goods, or packaging for the goods, must be furnished.

Goods - Not Acceptable

Invoices, announcements, order forms, bills of lading, leaflets, brochures, catalogs, publicity releases, letterhead, and business cards generally are not acceptable specimens for goods.

Services - Acceptable

If the mark is used for services, examples of acceptable specimens are signs, brochures about the services, advertisements for the services, business cards or stationery showing the mark in connection with the services, or photographs which show the mark either as it is used in the rendering or advertising of the services. In the case of a service mark, the specimens must either show the mark and include some clear reference to the type of services rendered under the mark in some form of advertising, or show the mark as it is used in the rendering of the service, for example on a store front or the side of a delivery or service truck.

Submitting Specimens

Mailed in specimens may not be larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches (21.59 cm by 27.94 cm) and must be flat. Smaller specimens, such as labels, may be stapled to a sheet of paper and labeled "SPECIMENS." A separate sheet can be used for each class.

Also See - Preparing A Digital Specimen For TEAS

If filing electronically, you must attach an image of your specimen in jpg format.

Sound Marks

Specimens consisting of videotapes, audiotapes, CDs or computer diskettes are acceptable for marks, such as sound marks, that cannot be used any other way.

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