What does a product label have to meet to be accepted as a trademark specimen?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

A label attached to the product is one of the most common choices for a trademark specimen. However, to be accepted, the specimen has to meet the following requirements:

  • The label must prominently include the mark so that consumers can associate the mark with the product.
  • The mark depicted on the label must match the originally filed mark exactly. For example, if you apply for a trademark consisting of a visual element and a brand name, the label cannot display only one of them.
  • The specimen has to be legible; it can't be blurry, show a cropped-off mark, etc.
  • The label has to be real; it can't be a mock-up or a digitally altered picture.
  • The label has to be attached to the goods the applicant seeks protection for; for example, if you apply for a trademark for T-shirts specifically, the specimen cannot show the label attached to a hat.
  • For the specimen, it has to be clear what product the label is attached to, meaning the photo shouldn't be so close up that the examiner can't identify the product.

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