What if I don't have the trademark specimen yet?

Photo of Tomas Orsula

Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

When applying for a US trademark, at some point during the registration process, you'll have to provide specimens - real-world examples of how your trademark is used to label your goods/services in the marketplace.

Let's look at your options if you can't provide the specimens:

  • If you are considering filing a new trademark application, you can do so immediately, even if you currently don't have any specimens of use. You can file your application using the Intent to Use basis, which is intended for marks that are currently not active in US commerce but whose owners have genuine intent to start using them in commerce soon. In this case, you'll have to provide specimens once the USPTO completes the preliminary assessment of your application, which can take several months.
  • If you filed a Use in Commerce application already and provided your specimens, but the USPTO has rejected them and you know you won't be able to provide substitute specimens by the deadline, you can switch your filing basis to Intent to Use, giving you once again more time to produce new specimens.
  • If you filed an Intent to Use application and the USPTO has now issued a Notice of Allowance asking you to provide the specimens, you have six months to submit them. If you can't meet this deadline, you can request a six-month extension. You can request five such extensions; however, each is subject to an additional fee.
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