If I receive a trademark specimen refusal, does it mean I have to reprint my product, packaging or label?

Photo of Tomas Orsula

Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

Receiving a trademark specimen refusal doesn't have to mean you have to reprint your labels or prepare a new batch of products.

Appropriate steps to overcome the refusal depend on why your specimen was dismissed. The examiner will explain their reasoning in the office action you will receive, together with suggestions on the next steps.

For example, if the mark is illegible or the specimen shows a close-up photo that doesn't properly identify the product that is supposed to bear the mark, it might be enough to submit a different photo or a set of photos.

However, if the mark in the specimen differs from the originally submitted mark, it can pose a problem. Sometimes, the examiner allows you to amend your trademark application, but only if the changes made to the original mark are "non-material".

If you can't amend your mark, one option might be abandoning your trademark application and filing a new trademark application for a new mark matching your already produced specimen.

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