Applying for trademarks is an important part of doing business in New Jersey. Many business owners submit trademark applications before launching a business or releasing a new product so that they can be sure their company names, logos and catchphrases cannot be legally used by another company. Along with a completed application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office requires applicants to submit at least one example showing how the trademark will be used.
The PTO asks trademark applicants to submit one example, called a specimen, for each Class. In other words, a trademark applicant must show one specimen for every type of product or service for which they plan to use a trademark. After the trademark application and specimens are submitted, the Examining Attorney may ask for additional specimens before a trademark is issued.
There have been reports that the PTO is making more requests for additional specimens than it did in the past. Increased scrutiny is reportedly being placed on trademark applications, which leads applicants to pay closer attention to the PTO's technical specimen requirements. To ensure that trademark specimens are sufficient, applicants should make sure that the mark is distinct and prominent.
A trademark law attorney might be able to help a business owner to determine what logos should be protected with trademarks. An attorney may assist a business owner with filing an application and gathering appropriate specimens to submit to the PTO. If a trademark is used by a party that does not own it, an attorney may aid the trademark owner in filing a trademark infringement claim.