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What is required for filing a federal trademark application?

A trademark application must include the following elements before the USPTO will accept it and assign a serial number and filing date:

1. A name and address for correspondence;
2. A properly formulated listing of the goods or services provided with the mark;

3. If the mark has been used, the date of first use anywhere in the world and the date of first use in interstate commerce (it is best to document and preserve evidence of your dates of first use);

4. The filing fee of $325 for each class of goods or services;

5. A clear drawing of the mark; and

6. A specimen of the trademark;

The "drawing," which is a depiction of the applicant's trademark, must show the mark as it is actually used, i.e., as shown by the specimens. In the case of an application based on a bona fide intention to use, the drawing must show the mark as the applicant intends to use it.

A specimen is a real-world example of how the mark is actually used on the goods or in the offering of the services. Labels, tags, or containers for the goods are considered to be acceptable specimens of use for a trademark. For a service mark, specimens may be advertising such as magazine advertisements or brochures. Actual specimens, rather than facsimiles, are preferred. One specimen is required for each class of goods or services specified in the application.

Specimens are required in applications based on actual use in commerce, but are not required for applications based on the owner's future intention to use the trademark.


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