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


Trademark and service mark are often confused as two different things, but they are actually two different terms. Trademarks refer to a company’s name or logo that can be used to identify its products or services. Service marks refer to a company’s name or logo used to distinguish itself from other companies offering similar services. While there may be some overlap between the two terms, they’re distinct in many ways.

Trademark VS Service Mark

Trademarks are used to protect a name or logo, while service marks are used to protect the services provided by the company. A trademark can be registered with the USPTO and the registration lasts for 20 years. If you want your business name or logo protected so it won’t be stolen by someone else, register it as a trademark.

A trademark is used to distinguish products and services in order to help consumers identify them easily on paper or online stores. A famous example would be Kleenex tissues (which were originally patented by Kimberly-Clark).

Service marks do not have any legal protection like trademarks because they don’t necessarily identify goods or services as belonging exclusively to one source. They’re used to protect a business’s reputation and prevent customers from being confused about the source of its services. If you have an established brand, you can register it as a service mark with the USPTO.

A service mark is used to distinguish a service rather than a product. For example, the Jiffy Lube name and logo serve as an example of their “tune-up” or “oil change” services.

Register a Trademark or Service Mark

Trademarks and service marks may be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which gives the owner additional rights in court. While trademark registration is not required by law, there are some benefits to registering the name. For example:

  • A registered trademark can be used as evidence when responding to infringement complaints if you have been accused of infringing someone else’s trademark rights.
  • You may receive an attorney fee award if someone sues over your use of a similar mark.
  • If you want to sell products abroad but don’t want to rely on foreign laws regarding trademarks protection (which vary widely around the world), this can help ensure that consumers know where they are buying their goods from so they won’t be confused by substituting another company’s product as theirs while traveling abroad.

Trademark Rights

Trademark rights can exist without registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering your trademark does have certain advantages that may make it desirable for you to register your company’s trademarks and/or service marks even if registration is not required for you to claim legal ownership of your mark.

You can own a trademark without registering it with the USPTO, but you may want to consider registering your mark. Registering a trademark or service mark allows you to:

  • Establish a priority date, which establishes when your product or service first came into existence (and therefore who was first to use that name).
  • Obtain better protection against other people using confusingly similar marks on their products and services. If another company uses an identical-looking mark, that company’s goods might be deemed infringing on yours — even if they’re not selling anything competitively similar.
  • File evidence of ownership in case someone else tries claiming rights over the same term in future litigation or other legal matters related to its use as a designation for goods and services offered by others.

Registration requirements vary depending on whether your application is for protection under international treaty obligations (e.,g., European Union directives) rather than filing directly with USPTO itself. However, these particular conditions are not necessary for filing an application as long as there are no objections raised during the review process within 12 months after the publication date within official gazette(s) nationwide circulation.


The important thing to remember is that the difference between a trademark and a service mark has more to do with what types of products and services you offer rather than the specific mark itself. Trademarks are used to distinguish products, while service marks are used to distinguish services.


If you’re going to buy or sell a business, it’s important to trademark your brand name. A trademark is a word, symbol, or any device that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. In addition to protecting against infringement, trademarks can be valuable assets in securing licensing agreements and preventing unauthorized uses of your brand name. Trademark registration can also protect consumers who are looking at websites featuring your product, so having a registered mark will help prevent confusion among potential customers. An expert service provider can help make things easier for small businesses seeking to protect their brands by protecting them under federal law with a federal registration application (USPTO Formalities).

Trademark Protection

Trademarks are protected by law and once you’re registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will have legal rights to use them on products, packaging, and advertising materials for as long as it takes for someone else to infringe on your trademark.

Cost of Registration

The costs for this type of service can vary widely depending on the scope of the trademark search and the overall complexity of your application but are generally cheaper than hiring a lawyer.

The most common fees charged by trademark registration companies include:

  • A $200 initial fee (which includes up to two searches).
  • An additional fee ranging from $50 to $100 per additional search; if you want more than two searches, expect to pay a higher cost per additional search.

Keep in Mind the Following

When choosing which company to use, it’s important to stick with companies that offer a 100% money-back guarantee. This is not enough. You should also ask about their refund policy and how long they will give you if the trademark registration process doesn’t go as smoothly as expected.

If the service does not have a 100% money-back guarantee, it is likely because they have never used this type of service before or have been in business for less than 2 years (depending on the state).

You should also ask how many applications they’ve filed successfully and how many were rejected by the USPTO. The best way to know this information is to ask for a list of successful applications, then compare it against their results. If your trademark registration agency does not provide you with this information, find another company that does and get them to send you all of their client lists so that you can compare them side-by-side.

If you’re preparing an international application, ask how many they’ve filed abroad. You can also find this information by going to the Trademark Search page on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website (USPTO).

If a company has any international applications that have been rejected or accepted, it will be listed below their name along with the reason why it was rejected or accepted by another country in which they filed their trademark application (e.g., China).


A good trademark application service can help make trademark registration easier and less expensive.

  • They can help you with the paperwork—from filling out forms to filing them with the government.
  • They can do a search for you so that you don’t have to spend time trying to find out who owns similar trademarks when registering yours.
  • If you don’t have an idea of what sort of name would be good for your brand or product, they may be able to suggest one based on their research and experience in similar industries.
  • If something seems off about a particular application form or even how it should be filed with the government (e..g., missing information), they will likely be able to point out these issues and offer advice as well as show where exactly those pieces should go on each form so it doesn’t cause problems later down the road.


If you’re looking for a trademark application service, there are a number of options available. When choosing one, it’s important to consider how much work they’ll be doing for you and whether or not they have started filing applications on your behalf with the USPTO before signing up with them.


Trademarks and service marks are both important for companies to protect their brands. However, they serve different purposes and have different levels of protection. For example, a trademark can be registered with the USPTO which gives it legal standing in court if someone uses your mark without permission. A service mark serves as an identifier of services rather than products so there is no need to register these names with the government agency.

Start your Trademark

Register Your Trademark & Get The Delivery of your USPTO Serial No. In 24 Hours

Related Posts

How Front-End Developers Can Benefit From Trademark Registration In 2023
How Front-End Developers Can Benefit From Trademark Registration In 2023
How to start a Construction Business in the US
How to start a Construction Business in the US
How to start a Fitness and Gym Business in the US?
How to start a Fitness and Gym Business in the US?
How to start a Software Business in the US
How to start a Software Business in the US

USPTO Trademark Filing in Just $49

Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours