We receive SO many questions about specimens. When do I submit one? How do I submit one? What type of specimen? And even, what is a specimen?

Have no fear! Let’s break it down.

Taken from the USPTO website: a specimen is a sample of how you actually use the mark in commerce on your goods or with your services.

What is the difference between a drawing of your mark and a specimen?

A drawing shows only your mark, whereas a specimen shows the mark as your purchasers/the consumers would see it in the marketplace

For example: for registering a standard character mark (i.e. just text) “Good Beer Brewing Company” the drawing would be “Good Beer Brewing Company,” while the specimen would be a picture of “Good Beer Brewing Company” being used in commerce. So, to prove to the USPTO that you are using “Good Beer Brewing Company” in commerce you could submit a photo of a tap handle that says “Good Beer Brewing Company.”

*Keep in mind that the specimen must be an image of what you actually use

Q: Is my website a proper specimen for goods?

A: If the mark appears near a picture of the goods and your customers can order the goods from the website right from that page. A simple picture of the website is not sufficient; you must take a screenshot of how the consumer will buy the good(s). If you’re registering a mark for beer, t-shirts and swag DO NOT count as specimens. The specimen must demonstrate the sale of beer.

Q: What is not a proper specimen for goods?

A: Invoices, announcements, order forms, leaflets, brochures, publicity releases, letterhead, and business cards

Q: What is a proper specimen for the use of a mark with services?

A: The specimen must show the mark used in providing or advertising the services. The specimen needs to have some reference to the services; just not a display of the mark itself.

Lastly, when and how do I file a specimen?

If you are already using your mark in commerce, then you must submit one specimen for each class of goods/services.

If you filed an Intent to Use application, then you must submit one specimen for each class of goods/services when you submit a Statement of Use.

When you file your Statement of Use application there is a section where you can attach the specimen is a .jpg or .pdf format.

*Information for this blog can be found at: USPTO

For more information regarding trademarks or really anything law/beer related, call us at: 919-335-5291 or email john@beerlawcenter.com