Michael E. Byczek, Attorney at Law

An application needs to include an actual specimen(s) that shows exactly how the trademark is being used in commerce, compared to a drawing of the word itself. What is submitted will depend on whether you are requesting a trademark or a service mark.

Specimen refers to an actual example of the trademark being used for business activity.

When an item is used in commerce, the mark usually appears on the goods, container, or displays. If the company offers a service, the mark is used or displayed in advertisements and solicitation material.

For a trademark, you need to submit tags, containers, displays, or photographs. Unacceptable items are invoices, announcements, order forms, bills, brochures, business cards, and letterheads.

A proper specimen of a service include a sign, brochure, advertisement, business card, or photograph that describes the service, not just the name itself.