TMEP 714.05(e): Submission of Substitute Specimen in Response to Refusal for Failure to Show Use of the Mark in Commerce

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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714.05(e)    Submission of Substitute Specimen in Response to Refusal for Failure to Show Use of the Mark in Commerce

If the applicant responds to an Office action refusing registration by submitting a substitute specimen that does not show use of the mark in commerce for the same or a different “use-in-commerce” reason, the examining attorney must issue a final refusal because the substitute specimen does not present a new issue. See TMEP §904.07(b).

If an applicant submits a substitute specimen in response to a nonfinal refusal for failure to show use of the mark in commerce, and unlike in the original specimen, the mark on the substitute specimen now does not agree with the mark on the drawing (see TMEP §807.12), but the specimen would otherwise be acceptable to show use in commerce in connection with the goods/services, the examining attorney may allow the applicant to amend the drawing if such an amendment would not constitute a material alteration of the mark. If any remaining issues can be handled by examiner’s amendment, and the mark is a standard character mark, the examining attorney may give the applicant the option to amend the drawing by examiner’s amendment. If not, the examining attorney must issue a final refusal that also gives the applicant the option to overcome the refusal by submitting a substitute drawing.

If an amendment of the drawing would be a material alteration, the examining attorney must issue a final refusal, assuming the application is otherwise in condition for final refusal, because the substitute specimen does not present a new issue.

See TMEP §904.07(a) for further information about refusal of registration because the specimen does not show the mark used in commerce.