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In order to register your trademark with the USPTO, you will need to submit a specimen. You may have heard this term or read about it, but what exactly does it mean? Also, what is the proper way to submit a specimen for a trademark application?

First of all, a specimen is “an actual example” of your mark being used in commerce or with the identified goods or services. This is more than a drawing of your mark.

For trademarks used with goods, a specimen is an example of the mark with the actual product or packaging. This includes tags or labels, containers, displays, or simply a photograph of the product bearing the mark. Invoices, brochures, and other documents are generally not acceptable forms of specimens for goods. However, such materials may be sufficient for service mark specimens.

For service marks, a specimen should show the mark used in conjunction with sale or advertising of the service. Examples include, signs, brochures, business cards, or stationary. The only requirement is that the document containing the mark also references the nature of the service. For example a business card bearing your mark along with the phrase automobile detailing service is sufficient.

In any event, your specimen should not include the actual product (or service for that matter) and must be either flat and no larger than 8 ½ by 11 inches if filing by paper application or contained in a digital JPEG image if filing electronically.

For questions regarding protecting your works of authorship, contact an intellectual property lawyer today.