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Service Mark and Trademark – What’s the Difference?

Service marks and trademark are different. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design (either alone or in combination) that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design (either alone or in combination) that identifies and distinguishes a provider of services from others.

What is the difference between a trademark and a service mark?

A trademark is any word, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one manufacturer from those of another. A service mark is a word, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the services of one provider from those of others. Generally, a trademark is used to distinguish the source of goods, like t-shirts or soda pop. A service mark is used to distinguish the source of a service provided. So you’ll see lots of attorneys with service marks since attorneys provide services. The distinction between service mark and trademark is largely a matter of semantics as they both refer to trademark protections.

How to determine what type of trademark or service mark you need

A trademark is any symbol, picture, name, or words that are used to identify the goods of one person from those of another. A service mark is a trademark that identifies and distinguishes the services of one person from those of another. To determine if you need a service mark or trademark for your product, you should list the types of marks you are seeking protection for on the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Examples

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design or logo that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one company from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, design or logo that identifies and distinguishes the services of one provider from those of others. For example, Apple has a trademark for their apple with a leaf on it.

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