Effective February 17, 2017, new rules will be in place at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) affecting Section 8 affidavits of use for trademark applications and registrations. “The USPTO may require the submission of information, exhibits, affidavits or declarations, and such additional specimens of use as may be reasonably necessary for the USPTO to ensure that the register accurately reflects marks that are in use in commerce in the United States for all the goods/services identified in the registrations.”

Before this date, trademark registrants and applicants only needed to provide a specimen of one of the goods or services listed in each international classification. We suggest that registrants and applicants provide a specimen for each of the goods and services listed in an application or registration to reduce requests for additional information. If registrants and applicants are not using a trademark in connection with applied-for or registered goods and services, or cannot prove such use, those should be deleted.

When it would be overly burdensome to provide specimens for every good and/or service listed in an application, we suggest that such specimens be maintained in the applicant or registrant’s files in the event of a request for more information from the USPTO.