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Acceptable Specimens for Services

When filing a Statement of Use for a trademark application that was submitted under intent to use 1(b), an applicant must provide the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with specimens to prove that he or she is actually using the applied-for trademark in connection with the services listed in the application.  

A trademark specimen for services must show the trademark as used in the sale of the services, including use in the performance, or rendering of the services, or in the advertising of the services. The specimen must show a direct association between the mark and the services.

The following chart provides a list of specimens for services that are acceptable by the USPTO. 

Type of Service Acceptable Specimens Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) Reference

General Services

Newspaper and magazine advertisements




Billboard advertisements




Direct-mail leaflets


Press releases that are publicly available, for example on the applicant's website



Business cards




In these cases, the specimen must bear the mark but does not have to name the service if it creates an association between the mark and the service. Letterhead and business cards showing the word "design" acceptable for commercial art design services.


The content of an actual letter can be used to indicate the mark's field of use.

Something showing the mark used in the actual rendering of the service, for example:


  • a screen shot of the mark on a computer terminal during data transmission, for data transmission services; or
  • for fence rental services, distinctive coloring visible on a chain link fence when it is in use.

Entertainment Services (Live Performance)

A photograph of the group or individual while performing, with the name displayed.


An advertisement or television or radio listing showing the mark, but only if the mark identifies and distinguishes the services, and not just the performer.

Entertainment Services (Production, Distribution, or Similar)

A shot of a title or launch screen from the entertainment content either:


  • showing it on a particular electronic device to indicate how the services are rendered; or
  • with a description identifying it as a title or launch screen and placing the mark in the context of the services

Mobile Applications

A screenshot of an electronic device displaying the mark while demonstrating the app delivering the services.

Restaurant Services




NOT Acceptable Specimens for Services

The following list of specimens for services are NOT accepted by the USPTO. For more information on the types of specimens the USPTO does not accept, see TMEP § 1301.04(a), (h)(i), (j).

  • A mock-up of an ad or brochure, or one designated, for example:

    • “printer’s proof;
    • “under construction”; or
    • “internal only.”

  • A press release sent exclusively to the press.

  • Letterhead or business cards bearing only the mark and a company name and address, without identifying the service (unless the mark itself or the context refers to          the service).

  • A website screenshot that does not sufficiently reference the services.

  • The applicant’s mark displayed on an office door without an association with applicant’s services.

Have any questions about specimens for services?

If you have any questions about specimens for services, or you would like to work with a skilled and experienced U.S. licensed attorney who can help you pick acceptable specimens, contact us for your free consultation. We can be reached at 1 800-651-7301, via email at info@trademarkattorneyslosangeles.com, or through our contact form below.

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