Service Mark vs Trademark
If you are into a business supplying a product or a service to your clients, you want your company to have a unique identity to allow your customers to know the source of the product or service to have an assurance about the quality and price. This is done by getting a trademark or a service mark for your product or service. These tools provide a unique identity to a product or service. While most people have an inkling of what a trademark is, they are confused when asked about a service mark. This article attempts to make clear the differences between a trade mark and a service mark.
What is a Trademark?
Any unique name, symbol, or a sign that is reserved and used by a business or commercial entity is called its trademark. This trademark cannot be used by the competitor and as such sets the business apart from other businesses making similar products. The words TM written against a name of a product or a business indicate that it has been trademarked and cannot be used by any other business or product. However, M is used for an unregistered trade mark whereas registered ones are characterized by a capital R enclosed in a circle This system is useful both for the business owner as well as its customers as consumers know the source from where the product is arriving in the market. On the other hand, business owners know that their clients would not accidentally buy a similar product made by any other company. United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the agency that provides trade marks for products in different categories, in US.
What is Service Mark?
Services are different from products in the sense that there is no package in which they can be bought off the shelves from a market. However, depending upon the service being provided, products can be painted with a unique sign or symbol, to make the service known by this mark called service mark. So even though no product with the name of the courier service may be available in the market, consumers identify the service and the company that provides this service by the logo or the color allotted to it. There are telecommunication services that are making use of a unique sound to let the customers know the company behind the service instantly. In US, service mark is allotted by USPTO just as trademarks and unregistered service marks are represented by SM against a logo, sign, or a symbol. When the registration is complete, the service is entitled to make use of a capital inside a circle.
What is the difference between Service Mark and Trademark?
• Trademark is a unique sign, name, or a symbol allotted by Patents and Trademark Office to the product of a company to make it unique, allowing customers to know the source of the product.
• Service mark is equivalent to trademark, and the only difference lies in the fact that it is to differentiate a service from other service providers.
• Trade mark is provided to packaged products and companies can make use of TM or a capital R inside a circle to indicate its source to its customers and no other company can copy this name, logo, or symbol.