TMEP 1301.04(h)(i): Letterhead

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1301.04(h)(i)    Letterhead

Letterhead stationery, business cards, or invoices bearing the mark may be accepted if they create an association between the mark and the services. To create an association between the mark and the services, the specimen does not have to spell out the specific nature or type of services. A general reference to the industry may be acceptable. In re Ralph Mantia Inc., 54 USPQ2d 1284 (TTAB 2000) (letterhead and business cards showing the word “Design” are acceptable evidence of use of mark for commercial art design services); In re Sw. Petro-Chem, Inc., 183 USPQ 371 (TTAB 1974) (use of mark on letterhead next to the name SOUTHWEST PETRO-CHEM, INC. found to be sufficient to show use of the mark for “consulting and advisory services relating to the making and using of lubricating oils and greases,” when used for letters in correspondence with customers).

Letterhead or business cards that bear only the mark and a company name and address are not adequate specimens (unless the mark itself has a descriptive portion that refers to the service), because they do not show that the mark is used in the sale or advertising of the particular services recited in the application. In re Monograms Am., Inc., 51 USPQ2d 1317 (TTAB 1999) (letterhead specimen showing the mark MONOGRAMS AMERICA and the wording “A Nationwide Network of Embroidery Stores” held insufficient to support registration for consulting services for embroidery stores).

If the letterhead itself does not include a reference to the services, a copy of an actual letter on letterhead stationery bearing the mark is an acceptable specimen of use if the content of the letter indicates the field or service area in which the mark is used. In Monograms America, the Board indicated that the letterhead specimen might have been accepted if the applicant had submitted a copy of a letter to a store owner describing the services. 51 USPQ2d at 1319.