As of this Monday, the USPTO now requires all trademark applications to be submitted electronically through TEAS. This change not only means that the USPTO will not accept paper trademark applications, but it also requires that filers provide accurate email and postal addresses and update them as necessary to keep them current.
The new rule also affects the requirements for specimens. For goods and services offered online, the specimen must now include the URL and the access or print date. For physical goods, images must show branding attached to the items themselves. For example, submitting an image of a tag for a skirt wouldn’t be acceptable; the image should show the tag actually on the skirt.
The change is intended to reduce time and costs for the USPTO and attorneys as well as to increase accuracy of filings and is part of a series of recent changes the USPTO has made. Other recent changes include the requirement that foreign-domiciled individuals and businesses have a US attorney and the Post-Registration Proof of Use Audit Program.