Specimen guide for E-commerce

Examples of trademark specimens for E-commerce.

What is a trademark specimen?

When you apply for/renew a US trademark, you must prove to the USPTO that your trademark is "used in commerce", i.e., that your goods/services are available for purchase or ordering to US customers. In practice, you will prove the use in commerce by submitting a so-called specimen, which is usually a photograph or a screenshot of your trademark used together with the goods or services you applied for (e.g., depicted on the product packaging, on your storefront, etc.).

What is considered a sufficient specimen will depend on multiple factors, including whether you offer goods (Classes 1-34) or services (Classes 35-45).

In this guide, we will look specifically at trademark specimens for e-commerce - the best format, requirements, and examples from the USPTO.

What is a proper specimen for e-commerce?

When trademarking an e-commerce business, your offering will likely fall under Class 35, which is a service class including terms covering retail and wholesale.

Therefore, the most suitable specimen will be a website screenshot meeting the following requirements:

  • The mark must be clearly visible, meaning it must be legible, not cropped off, etc.
  • The mark shown on the specimen has to match the mark in the original trademark application exactly. For example, if you applied for a mark consisting of a graphical element and the brand name, the specimen can't display just the graphical element.
  • The specimen has to be an actual screenshot of a page the examiner can access, not a mockup or an altered screenshot.
  • The screenshot has to show that the goods can be purchased by US customers (in practice, it's enough to show the price in USD).
  • The screenshot has to show the means of ordering (e.g., button "Add to cart").
  • You must provide the URL and the date of taking, either on the specimen itself or by filling it out in the form.
  • From the specimen, it must be clear the mark labels an e-commerce business and not the products.

Examples of suitable and unsuitable specimen for E-commerce


An example of a website specimen for online retail. The mark is displayed at the top center of the webpage but not in connection with the one product showcased. The menu suggests an assortment of goods is sold under this brand. The screenshot also includes means of ordering. View source or view image at full size.


Another example of a specimen for online retail. The specimen makes it clear the mark labels an online store and not the batteries themselves. A shopping cart is visible in the screenshot. View source or view image at full size.


The mark was filed for "Online retail store services", but the specimen shows the mark labelling a product, thus failing to prove the use in commerce for Class 35. View source

Submit specimen with ease

Whether you are registering a new trademark, proving its use in commerce, or prolonging its validity, we are here to make sure your submission with the USPTO goes through.

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