Specimen protest email pilot program discontinued

by John Roberts on March 4, 2021

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Trademark Alert

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Specimen protest email pilot program discontinued

The USPTO discontinued its specimen protest email pilot program on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The pilot program was implemented in March 2018 to allow third parties to submit information regarding trademark applications with specimens that were potentially not in actual use. The USPTO appreciates all those who submitted specimen of use protests.

Why the program is being discontinued

  • The USPTO is implementing additional tools, resources, and training for identifying suspicious specimens.
  • The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 provides statutory authority for the longstanding USPTO Letter of Protest (LOP) practice, which allows third parties to submit evidence to the USPTO prior to registration regarding a trademark’s registrability, including evidence regarding digitally altered specimens.

What is replacing the program

If you believe an application contains specimens that have been digitally altered or fabricated, you can submit an LOP. Find out more information about how to do so on the LOP practice tip webpage.

What this means for you

The email inbox TMSpecimenProtest will no longer be available. If you send an email, you will receive a message instructing you to submit an LOP.

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