It is the policy of theÂ Â U.S. Patent & Trademark OfficeÂ (PTO) that trademarks may not be warehoused, or saved for later use.Â Therefore, the PTO requires evidence of actual use in commerce before allowing registration of a trademark.Â The evidence of actual use is called a â€œspecimenâ€.
Each trademark application must include an acceptable â€œspecimenâ€ before the PTO will allow registration of a trademark.Â Â AÂ specimenÂ shows how the mark is actually being used.Â It is not the same as the drawing of the mark, which shows only the mark you are trying to register. Â A specimen is generally what consumers actually see when they are trying to purchase goods or services identified by the trademark.
A specimen cannot use Â® because this is the symbol of a federally registered trademark. Using this symbol in a specimen is inappropriate, and may result in rejection of the trademark application.
It is appropriate, and in fact may be helpful, to use TM next to the mark in a specimen.Â The use of TM tends to give visual prominence to the mark. Â Â In re Sones, 590 F.3d at 1289, 93 USPQ2d at 1124 (â€œThough not dispositive, the â€˜use of the designation â€œTMâ€ . . . lends a degree of visual prominence to the term.â€™â€ (quotingÂ In re Dell Inc., 71 USPQ2d at 1729));Â In re Osterberg, 83 USPQ2d 1220, 1224, n.4 (TTAB 2007).
Thus, when submitting a specimen with your trademark application, itâ€™s OK to use TM after your trademark.