USPTO Trademark Filing in Just $49
Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours
Trademarks and service marks are types of intellectual property that businesses can use to protect their brands. Trademarks are used to identify goods, especially those that are unique or have a reputation for quality. Service marks identify services, such as banking and financial services or legal services. Anyone who makes an investment in a business should understand these two types of trademark law: federal and state trademark laws.
A trademark or service mark is a distinctive word, name, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods and services of one party from those of others. Trademarks and service marks can be words, phrases, symbols, designs, sounds, or colors.
A trademark indicates that it is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but it does not mean that anyone has actually registered it somewhere else in the world. A service mark indicates that it has been registered with USPTO for use only in connection with particular goods or services; however, some states recognize both trademarks and service marks as distinct categories of intellectual property protection.
The terms “trademark” and “service mark” are used interchangeably when speaking about trademarks.
Trademarks are used to identify goods and services, while service marks are used to identify services. Both trademarks and service marks can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Trademark law is federal law. The Lanham Act defines a trademark as a word, phrase, symbol, or combination of words, phrases, and symbols that are used to identify and distinguish a product or service from those of others. A registered trademark can be renewed forever as long as the owner continues to use it in commerce.
Trademark owners may apply for their marks to receive additional benefits such as incontestable status (once they have been registered for five years), registration renewal fee discounts on certain goods/services, and statutory damages enhancements if infringement occurs after registration.
A trademark or service mark identifies the source of the product or service and distinguishes it from the products or services of others. A trademark or service mark can be a word, phrase, symbol, design, color combination, and/or scent that is used to identify a company’s goods and/or services. The use of trademarks in commerce helps consumers identify their preferred brands when making purchasing decisions.
The primary function of a trademark is to identify the source of goods and services being offered by one party from those offered by another party. Trademarks are important because they help consumers make informed buying decisions based on brand loyalty and recognition; otherwise known as “brand awareness” which leads to good customer retention rates over long periods of time – all while reducing costs associated with advertising campaigns touting each individual brand under your umbrella!
Trademarks and service marks are usually obtained by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The process can take several months, depending on how quickly you respond to requests for additional information and how busy the USPTO is at that time.
To maintain your trademark, you should be sure to include it in all promotional materials related to your business and products. If someone else uses a similar logo or name, you may lose your rights to use it if they started using it first.
If you fail to follow trademark rules or fail to file the paperwork when required by law, there are consequences: Your trademark can be canceled or declined by the USPTO; your brand could become genericized, or another company could purchase it from you through an auction process conducted by the USPTO.
In addition to federal trademark protection, state trademark laws provide additional protection in many cases. State trademark laws are based on common law and offer some additional benefits over federal trademarks. For example, a state-registered mark can protect your brand in your own state if someone else tries to use it. State trademarks also give you the right to sue in other states as long as they have similar regulations protecting trademarks as yours does (e.g., Louisiana has very similar regulations). In contrast, federally registered marks do not allow you such broad rights.
However, because these protections are based on common law—and therefore vary by state—you should consult with an attorney before deciding which type of trademark best suits your needs.
Only a registered trademark appears with the R in a circle symbol next to it. The R in a circle is used to indicate that a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A service mark that has been registered may also bear this symbol, but if it does not, you should still advertise your use of the mark as “Registered.”
Common law rights are not as strong as registered rights; however, they can become stronger if you use your mark in commerce. If you have common law rights, you can stop others from using confusingly similar marks on their goods or services. This means that if someone else is already using a trademark or service mark that is similar to yours and causing confusion among consumers, then you can stop them from continuing to do so (but only for the products/services for which you have common law rights).
Common-law trademarks and service marks can be used by anyone who has made continuous use of the mark in commerce since before another party adopted its own mark on related products or services. Unlike federal registration, there are no fees associated with maintaining a common-law trademark or service mark registration in most jurisdictions. However, if someone else files an application with USPTO claiming a later date than yours based upon the first use of the identical business name or product name in interstate commerce (or both), they may be able to establish priority over your claims under UCC § 1581(a).
Trademarks and service marks are two types of trademarks. Trademarks can be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and will receive nationwide protection if they meet certain criteria.
Service marks are not subject to state registration because they cannot be used in commerce to identify those who sell services, unlike trademarks which generally focus on products sold by a company or business owner to customers over time through multiple channels such as retail stores, catalogs and websites etcetera.)
They can only be used in interstate commerce meaning when you put them into use across state lines (online for example).
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about trademarks and service marks, feel free to contact us at anytime. We’re happy to answer them.
Register Your Trademark & Get The Delivery of your USPTO Serial No. In 24 Hours
Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours