Trademarks and service marks are two different kinds of intellectual properties. Most Businesses use a unique identification that makes them stand out. These identifications are known as a trademark or a service mark.
WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?
A Trademark is a word, name, symbol, sound, or device, or any combination which is used and intends to identify and distinguish goods/products of a company with those of others. Trademarks are usually used by businesses who are involved with a variety of products to make their products standout and have a unique identification so that people can identify such products as being made by them.
Some famous examples of Trademark are:
- Coco Chanel is a perfect example of a name that is a trademark.
- The McDonald’s golden arch is a classic example of a symbol trademark.
- The Microsoft Windows startup sound.
WHAT IS A SERVICE MARK?
A Service mark on the other hand identifies a name, logo, device or combination thereof that identifies the services of a business. It works the same way as a trademark.It distinguishes the services a company provides with that of others. It represents the type of service a company Provides.
Some Examples of Service Marks are:
- The term “visa” is considered as a service mark as it identifies the Visa card services.
- FedEx, a registered courier delivery service provider is also termed as a service mark.
- Walmart is also a service mark which provides retail business services.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REGISTERING FOR A TRADEMARK OR SERVICE MARK?
Registering for trademarks or service marks prevents other businesses from using a business’s company, product, and service names, brand slogan, logos and other distinguishing brand designs in any way possible.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRADEMARK AND SERVICE MARK
A trademark represents a product produced by a business while a service mark represents a service offered by the business.A single business can register for both of them to brand themselves.
The difference between a service mark and a trademark seems pretty straightforward, but the two options do lead to some confusion for business owners. If you offer both goods and services, you may not know which to use. Many businesses that provide services and goods use both trademarks and service marks.
WHY IS TRADEMARK OR SERVICE MARK IMPORTANT?
While building a brand, it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Registering for a trademark/service mark depending upon the type of company one own prevents another company to use one’s company name or logo and also prevents confusion with customers with whom they’re doing business.It also creates a unique identity and provides a company a name with which it can be known.
The line between a trademark and a service mark is often so thin that many companies simply end up having both. For example, Google lists its brand as both a trademark and a service mark. Thus, in order to protect a company’s brand name one must register for a trademark/service mark in order to keep its identity distinct and unique from that of others.