Our trademark attorneys often get questions from clients regarding specimens of use. The specimen of use shows the Trademark Office how you are using your trademark in commerce. The specimen is not a drawing of your mark, but an actual image of your trademark on your product showing how your mark is presented to consumers in the marketplace.
The specimen of use requirements applicable for goods versus for services are different. Clients often find meeting the specimen of use requirement for goods more difficult than meeting the requirements for services.
Specimen of Use for Goods
With specimens of use for goods, it is not enough to show your mark on advertising or general website pages. Rather, trademark applicants need to show how the mark appears actually on their goods, on labels affixed to the goods, or on the packaging for the goods. The Trademark Office wants to see how consumers come across your mark in the market place.
Specimen of Use for Services
When a trademark (technically a “service mark”) is used for services, the specimen of use must show how the mark is presented to consumers in connection with providing services. Advertising including the mark is an acceptable specimen for services. Like with the specimen of use for goods, the specimen of use for services must bear a close relation to the service and not be merely just a display of the mark.
If you have questions about trademark specimens of use, contact one of our trademark attorneys for answers to your specific circumstances.