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A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it refers to a service rather than a product. The United State Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark or service mark as "a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others." A service mark, then, distinguishes the services of one party/company/brand from those of another. Service marks help to define a particular company or brand so that they are not confused with their competitors.
Service marks can be any original name, logo or slogan that is unique to one brand, party or company. They must be known by consumers and properly registered in order to protect the service(s) across state lines and in any potential litigation. Registering for service marks may be complex and confusing. A search must be done first to ensure that no other party is already using the service mark in question. If the company or brand providing the service(s) has multi-state operations, it may be more complex to go through the federal registration process to attain the service mark.
If you have any questions about service marks, an intellectual property lawyer can assist you. An attorney can help you decide if you need to register your service mark, and if so, if you should do it with your state or with the federal division. An attorney can help you perform a service mark search and can also help you fill out the registration applications accurately to ensure no mistakes are made. An intellectual property lawyer can also represent you in any cases of service mark infringement or litigation.
If you need help with your service mark registration or suspect service mark infringement, contact Attorney Search Network today. Attorney Search Network can refer you to an intellectual property lawyer near you.
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