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Proof of Commercial Use

What happens after your application survives the opposition period will depend on whether or not you have provided for your trademark registration. If you have previously provided proof of commercial use than your application will automatically progress to trademark registration with no further action required on your part. If, however, proof has not yet been provided then you will receive a notice of allowance that promises to register the application so long as proof can be provided within a given deadline.

Certificate Of Registration And Its Benefits

If proof of commercial use has been provided and your application did not receive any notices of opposition (the preferred, and most common scenario), then you can expect the USPTO to issue your certificate of trademark registration approximately 12 weeks from the date your application was published in the Trademark Official Gazette. After receiving your certificate of trademark registration you may now take advantage of the many benefits to federal trademark registration.

Proof of commercial use

You may provide proof of commercial use at any time throughout the trademark application process except during the publication and opposition period. Applications that have demonstrated proof of use are called ”In Use” or “1a” applications whereas applications that have not yet met the standard are called ”Intent to Use”, “ITU”, or “1b” applications. Specimens for proof of use. A “specimen” is the evidence you submit to the USPTO as proof that you are using your trademark registration for the purpose(s) applied for. You must submit a specimen for each good and service selected at the time of application to show you are actually using the trademark for that purpose in commerce. There is a LOT of nuance to how this is done but you will do well to plan for the following criteria:

  • Specimens for goods or products
    • Showing the mark on the product itself;
    • Showing the mark on the product’s packaging; or
    • Showing the mark on a product display that includes the product and a price.
    • NOTE: Advertising materials are NOT accepted as proof of use for goods or products
  • Specimens for services
    • Showing use of the mark on materials used to sell the service;
    • Showing use of the mark on materials used to render the service; or
    • Showing use of the mark on materials used to advertise the service.
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