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What is the Difference between a Service Mark and a Trademark?

Service marks are trademarks that are used in the sale of services instead of goods. Otherwise, trademarks and service marks are in all respects identical, including how trademarks and service marks can be infringed upon.

What Constitutes a Service Mark?

A service mark is a word, phrase, or device which is more than simply the business name of an enterprise. Mere status as a business name is not enough to qualify as a service mark. The test is the use to which the mark is put; the mark must do more than identify the enterprise as a business organization- it must identify and distinguish the services rendered.

Can You Register a Service Mark?

There is some question whether a service mark can be registered when the service is primarily promoting the sale of specific goods. As long as the service is a legitimate one and the effect on the sale of goods is only minor, there is no reason to refuse registration.

Can an Owner Own a Mark as Both a Service Mark and a Trademark?

An owner may own a mark as both if it is used in both ways. For example, the owner of a radio or television program title can register the title as both a service mark and a trademark even though the use of the mark would be for the promotion of specific goods.

Should I Consult a Lawyer about my Trademark Issue?

The deadlines and regulations for trademark registration are detailed and strict. An intellectual property lawyer can help you meet all the deadlines and fulfill all the requirements. A lawyer can also participate in on-going research to make certain no one else is using or diluting your trademark without your permission. Additionally, if you have an issue of trademark dilution or infringement, a lawyer can guide you through the difficult and strict procedural requirements for litigation and bring out the core of your case.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-21-2018 06:10 PM PDT

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