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Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes interstate commerce?

In order to secure federal registration of a mark, you must be conducting business under the mark that extends beyond state lines (i.e., interstate commerce). Generally, conducting an on-line business through a website would be considered interstate commerce. On similar lines, most businesses, such as restaurants and fast food outlets would be conducting their respective businesses in interstate commerce because they may have customers from across state lines and also may have a website, which is accessible nationally.

What is a proper specimen for showing use in commerce?
A Products: A specimen for a mark used on goods shows the trademark affixed on the actual goods or packaging for the goods. You may submit an image of a tag or label for the goods; a container for the goods; a display associated with the goods; or a photograph of the goods that shows use of the mark on the goods. Do not submit the actual product. Invoices, announcements, order forms, bills of lading, leaflets, brochures, publicity releases, letterhead and business cards generally are NOT acceptable specimens for goods.
B Services: A specimen for a trademark used in connection with services must show the mark used in the sale or advertising for the services. You may submit a sign; a brochure about the services; or an advertisement for the services. There must be some reference to the type of services rendered on the specimen, i.e. not just a display of the mark itself.
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