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TRADEMARKS: Proof of Use

It's necessary to protect your brand by filing for a Trademark registration under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, most people don't understand that regardless of whether you have a brand, it's essential that you show proof of use per rule 37 CFR Section 2.34(a)(1) et. seq.

What is Proof of Use?

This is evidence that you are using the mark in commerce under a legal class of goods or services as prescribed in 37 C.F.R. Section 6.1. Proof of Use can be established by showing many things such as video clippings, purchases, labels on products or goods that you're selling, use of website, etc.

Proof of Use, however, will always be dictated based on the industry that you're asking the USPTO to provide a registration in. For example, if you create dog tags (a good) for miniature dogs, you'll be required to provide that the brand of your dog tags are currently in use at the time of your application.

Some things you could use are the customer orders or receipts, websites and social media of where you're using the brand to market the dog tags.

Classification/Market of Goods and Services

But most importantly, you must ensure that you choose the correct classification/market of the good to avoid rejection of your application.

Most individuals do not understand this necessary step to trademarks; thus, they suffer loss of funds for filing fees and no successful registration of their mark.

If you're considering filing a trademark, think of the industry for which you want the mark registered. Then think about whether you've truly used the mark in that way. If you're unable to show that you have, you will be rejected.


This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.


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