A trademark for a service [Must-Know Tips]



Last updated : Sept 14, 2022
Written by : Elizabet Heney
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A trademark for a service

Can you trademark the name of a service?

A trademark identifies the source of goods or services. Business names, product names, logos and labels can all be trademarks.

What is an example of a service mark?

Examples of a Service Mark Take for example a plumbing company. They may have a logo of a leaking faucet and wrench to identify their company. This logo would be a service mark because it identifies their plumbing services. Their name could also be service marked.

Is service mark a trademark?

The word “trademark” can refer to both trademarks and service marks. A trademark is used for goods, while a service mark is used for services.

What are some 5 examples of trademarks?

  • Under Armour®
  • Twitter®
  • It's finger lickin' good! ®
  • Just do it®
  • America runs on Dunkin'®

What is the difference between a service mark and trademark?

A trademark identifies the source of goods, while a service mark designates the provider of a service. Despite the distinction, the term “trademark” is commonly used to describe both forms of intellectual property.

How do I add a service mark?

  1. Make sure the mark is unique.
  2. Register the service mark.
  3. File your application.
  4. Wait for the USPTO to review your application.
  5. Accept your approval.

Can you trademark a free service?

You can not register a trademark for free. However, what you can do is establish something known as a "common law trademark" for free.

How much does a service mark cost?

How much is the filing fee to register a Trademark or Service Mark with the California Secretary of State's Office? The fee for filing a Trademark or Service Mark is $70.00 per classification code per mark.

How do I protect my service mark?

Registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives you nationwide service mark protection, creates a public record of your mark, allows you to sue in federal court for trademark infringement, and can make it easier to obtain trademark protection in another country.

How long does a service mark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What is a good trademark?

A trademark must be a mark which includes a device, heading, brand, label, ticket, signature, word, letter, name, numeral, packaging or combination of colors or any combination of the above attributes. It should be easy to speak and spell. A good trademark is such that the public can easily spell and speak.

What is a popular trademark?

Famous marks are those that have an immediate connection in the minds of the consumers with a specific product or service and the source of that product or service. Examples of famous trademarks are APPLE, COCA-COLA, MCDONALDS and NIKE.

What are 3 items that can be trademarked?

Non-generic words, logos, slogans, colors, smells, and sounds can all be registered with the USPTO, as long as you can demonstrate how they represent your business. Inventions and works of authorship cannot become registered trademarks and should be protected with patents or copyrights respectively.

What is the purpose of a service mark?

Definition. A mark used to distinguish the services provided by one person or company from services provided by others. Service marks serve the same purposes as trademarks, but they are used to identify services rather than goods.

Can I use TM without registering?

The (TM) symbol actually has no legal meaning. You can use the symbol on any mark that your company uses without registering it. The most common use of the TM symbol is on a new phrase, logo, word, or design that a company plans to register through the USPTO.

What Cannot be a trademark?

Under the Trademarks Act, A commonly used or accepted name of a chemical element or a chemical compound cannot be given a trademark registration. A chemical declared by the WHO which acquires international non-proprietary names can also not be registered.

Can a single word be trademarked?

A trademark registration with the USPTO is a registered trademark and gets marked with the registered trademark (®) symbol. You don't have to register a word with the USPTO to get trademark status. A word is a trademark if that word identifies a brand, regardless of whether the word itself is registered.

Can I file for a trademark myself?

You can do this yourself on the USPTO database, and/or you can hire a professional firm or attorney to engage in this process. Fill out the trademark application on the USPTO website. The forms are fairly self-explanatory. You will list your name, business information, and describe your mark.

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

How do you get something trademarked?

To register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will need to fill out and submit a trademark application. You can do this online, using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), an online trademark filing service, or you can submit a paper application.


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A trademark for a service


Comment by Maryjane Tetley

can you register a trademark when there is already a service mark on it that's the question I'm answering today I'm Aaron Hall an attorney representing business owners in Minneapolis Minnesota let's imagine that you want to register a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office that would give you a federal registered trademark but there's already service mark out there does that pose a problem and if so what do you do about that that's the challenge we're tackling today all right so what is a trademark let's start there a trademark is a name a term a logo a mark whatever it is that is being used in association with selling goods or services now so for example think about the Nike shoe Nike we not you hear Nike you think of the shoe company when you see the swoosh which is the Nike logo you think the Nike shoe company you probably don't think oh is that lightning on the shoe is that a wave no you see the image and you go oh that logo represents a company called Nike they sell shoes same with the word Nike so those are examples of trademarks the swoosh and the word Nike because they show an association between the source our Goods and the source of those goods the company Nike but I also said the source of services so Nike primarily sells goods that's products shoes but you can also do a trademark for services and technically that's called a service mark so a trademark is for goods and products a service mark is for services services like a law firm a laundromat a painter a mechanic a realtor all these things are examples of services so imagine that you want to register a trademark but somebody is already using it for a service the question comes down to two issues trademark infringement and trademark dilution let's talk about trademark infringement first is the term that the mark that you're going to use confusingly similar to what the service company is already using and in the industry they're in so let's take a simple example here let's say it's a real estate company and they're called whitewater real estate and you want to ought you want to have a clothing company called whitewater clothing well those are significantly different I don't think in my mind if you were to ask me I don't think if I heard whitewater as it relates to real estate that I'd be like oh that sounds like whitewater clothing they're probably the same company so that's kind of that's the trademark infringement question are they confusingly similar would a member of the public a reasonable person think that they're somehow similar enough and from the same company the second issue is trademark dilution and it's a very similar analysis but the question is are they confusingly similar enough that although they might not be confused as the same company or the same source would they be consume confuses somehow related for example let's say I wanted to create a company called Mercedes computer company well Mercedes car company I don't think sells computers so you might think hey it's different enough it's a whole different industry it's not confusingly similar you might say that however because Mercedes is a very unique term and a term that is so well known throughout the United States Mercedes at least would have a claim for trademark dilution basically saying look even though nobody thinks your little computer company is related to us a premium car company you're ruining the word Mercedes or you're diluting it you're devaluing that term and so we're suing you for trademark dilution and they Mercedes could sue the Mercedes computer company and claim that Mercedes as it relates to computers is diluting the Mercedes car company brand and they must immediately stop or the computer company must stop using that so the analysis is very similar is it confusingly similar but we have to ask two questions first if it's not so similar the public thinks it's the same company is it so similar that it's somehow diluting or harming the reputation and that the brand and the intellectual property rights of a company that has a registered trademark or has trademark rights so back to the question can you use a mark for your trademark if somebody is already using it for a service or they have a service mark yes you can as long as it's not confusingly similar and it's it's not harming their brand they don't have some big brand that would be big harmed by that no you can't if it is confusingly similar now you might say how do I know if it's confusingly similar and admittedly all the experts will agree there's ambiguity in the law and and that's the nature of this area of law there is no perfect way to have a bright-line answer and go oh yeah that that would that's confusing the similar or that's not in these shades of gray so who decides you might be wondering the finder effect in other words if there's a lawsuit between Mercedes car company and Mercedes computer company and it goes before a judge the judge decides the judge would be sitting as the finder of fact the judge would decide is this confusingly similar now if there's a jury that the jury is the finder effect the jury would decide are the two marks confusingly similar this is a pretty high level if you're interested in more information you can see the link in the description below to my website at aaron hall calm if you'd like more educational videos like this you can subscribe to this channel and please see the disclaimer below I highlight these issues as general education not as a substitute for getting legal advice so it is important to talk to an attorney in your jurisdiction if you have actual legal issues that you're dealing with thanks for joining me here today I'm Aaron Hall I look forward to seeing you on the next video


Thanks for your comment Maryjane Tetley, have a nice day.
- Elizabet Heney, Staff Member


Comment by acidulis7

hi everybody this is trademark attorney Josh gurbin welcome to episode 15 of ask a trademark attorney in today's episode the question we're going to answer is what is the difference between a trademark and a service mark the answer is they're pretty much the same thing matter of fact most people always use the word trademark even when referring to service marks and that's really okay there's not a lot wrong with doing so but it's important to know the technical difference so a trademark typically refers to a mark that is for goods so think of a mark that represents shoes clothing sunglasses anything that's a product on the other hand a service mark represents a mark that is for services so think of the name of our restaurant the name of a marketing or advertising agency even the name of a law firm when it's a service being offered and you're protecting the mark or the name of a service then that would be a service mark so the main difference and the reason that people sometimes ask the question about what is the difference between a trademark and a service mark is that before your trademark registers and before you can use that circle are next to your name you can use either the little capital letters TM or SM next to your name and a lot of people just use the TM like I was telling you it's kind of a commonly used thing even for service marks it's really okay but if you want to be technically correct you would use a TM next to your name prior to your trademark being registered if you're selling a product and you would use an SM next to your name prior to your trademark being registered if you're offering a service then once the trademark gets registered everybody just uses the circle dollar so it all ends up at the same place at the end of the day I hope you found this helpful if any further questions please feel free to get in touch with us you can go to gourbin law.com just click on the contact tab you can get right in touch with one of our attorneys thank you so much I'll talk to you next time you


Thanks acidulis7 your participation is very much appreciated
- Elizabet Heney


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