05 / 04 / 2023


To obtain and maintain a trademark, you must prove that you have used the mark in commerce. How can you provide an acceptable specimen to satisfy this requirement?

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DBAs Are Not Trademarks

As a trademark applicant, you must demonstrate that you have used the mark in interstate commerce in connection with the goods or services identified in your application. To do so, you must provide an acceptable specimen that shows the mark as it was used in interstate commerce. A d/b/a or fictitious business name is insufficient to demonstrate this use, as it does not necessarily establish a link between the mark and your goods or services.

Acceptable USPTO Specimens

Your trademark attorneys will tell you that an acceptable specimen for filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) includes labels, tags, packaging, and other items that show the mark as used in connection with your goods or services. Such specimens must demonstrate that consumers in the relevant market associate the mark with your goods or services.

In many cases, a logo or brand displayed on a website can serve as an acceptable specimen for USPTO examiners. This demonstrates use in interstate commerce and establishes a connection between the relevant consumer and the mark.

Invoices are Not Proof of Use in Commerce

Conversely, an invoice alone is generally not sufficient to demonstrate use in commerce, as it only shows that a transaction has occurred and does not necessarily establish a connection between the mark and your goods or services.

If you have questions or comments about registering a trademark for your brand or service, please do not hesitate to contact our trademark attorneys at the Vethan Law Firm, P.C. We are here to help you navigate the complex world of trademark law, because at our firm,


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