Specimen guide for Class 2

Examples of trademark specimens for Class 2, which comprises paints, varnishes, lacquers.

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 Class 2 - the best format, requirements, and examples from the USPTO.

What is a proper specimen for Class 2?

Class 2 includes specific goods related to paints, varnishes and lacquers. You can find products such as dyes, inks, pigments, thinners, thickeners and coatings here.

For Class 2, the most suitable specimens include:

  • A photo of the goods themselves
  • A photo of the packaging or a label attached to the goods

There are other acceptable formats; however, we wouldn't recommend them to beginners since, in practice, they often fail to meet all conditions and require a more experienced filer.

What requirements does my specimen for Class 2 have to meet?

Besides the format mentioned above, your specimen must meet a few general requirements to be accepted. For a goods class such as Class 2, these requirements include the following:


The mark must be clearly visible, meaning it must be legible, not cropped off, etc.

Correct mark version

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 must be a real photograph, not a digitally altered or created image.

Showing connection

The specimen has to show a clear connection between the mark and the applied-for goods. Compared to the previous rules, this one is more broad and can translate to different things in practice because it's related to your use of the trademark.

For example, if you submit a photo of the product bearing the mark, that connection will be inherently there. However, if you submit a picture of a container bearing the mark, it should suggest what product it contains. Otherwise, if the connection cannot be inferred from the packaging alone, the specimen can't prove that the mark is used in connection with the applied-for goods and the USPTO will likely refuse it.

Therefore, for packaging, make sure it clearly indicates what you are selling and that this information matches the items listed in your trademark application. This can be achieved in a number of ways - by including a product depiction or description (you don't have to use the exact same wording from your trademark application), making the product visible through the packaging, or at least taking a picture with the packaging open and showing the product inside.

Labels should ideally also include references to the applied-for goods, although labels affixed to the product can sometimes meet the requirement through that physical connection (imagine a mark displayed on a T-shirt collar tag). If you are submitting a label, make sure the photo is not too close-up, and the product to which the label is attached is clearly identifiable.

We also have to note that the actual mark can play a role here. Some marks include wording or imagery that suggests what the goods are, so putting them on the packaging/label makes fulfilling this requirement easier. However, having such a mark is by no means necessary.

Generally, to meet this criterion, a good rule of thumb is to ask: "Is it clear from the specimen that the trademark belongs to the items I said I was selling in my trademark application?"

Examples of suitable and unsuitable specimen for Class 2


The mark Evolution is depicted on the product. View source


The mark Sher-nar is depicted on a label. View source


This specimen has been refused due to illegibility. View source


This specimen has been refused due to appearing to consist of a digitally altered image or a mockup. 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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