A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that is used to identify and distinguish the source of goods from those of others. A service mark is similar to a trademark, but it is used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than goods. Both trademarks and service marks are used to protect the reputation and brand identity of a company or individual, and to ensure that consumers can easily identify and distinguish the products or services of that company or individual from those of others.
In the United States, the term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, it is important to note that there is a distinction between the two types of marks, and the legal protections and requirements for obtaining and maintaining a trademark or service mark may differ depending on the type of mark and the goods or services involved.
Trademarks and service marks can be registered with national or international trademark offices, and registration can provide legal protection for the owner’s rights to use and control the use of the mark. Trademarks and service marks are governed by both federal and state laws in the United States, and by international treaties and conventions in other countries.