Many businesses have a distinctive identification mark, brand, or logo that helps them stand out in advertising and in general. A trademark or service mark is a type of identification mark.
Intellectual property includes trademarks and service marks. They establish the proprietor’s ownership of logos, marks, or slogans and the source of origin of the product with which they are linked. They also safeguard the owners by making it impossible for anyone to use them without permission.
What is Trademark?
A trademark is a brand or logo that includes words, numbers, devices, symbols, or a combination of words, numbers, devices, symbols, or a combination of words, numbers, devices, symbols, or a combination of words, numbers, devices, symbols, or a combination of words, numbers, devices. They aid in identifying and differentiating a commercial product from other items or goods on the market.
A trademark aids in the development of a company’s image while also protecting it from unauthorized usage by third parties. As a result, third parties cannot counterfeit a registered brand that is in high demand for its goods or services. Nike, Bata, Pepsico, and other brands are instances of trademarks.
What Is a Service Mark?
A service mark is a brand name or emblem that distinguishes a service provider. A service mark might be made up of a single word, phrase, symbol, design, or mix. The mark, a type of intellectual property protection, forbids competing businesses from utilizing names and symbols that may cause customer confusion.
Similarity Between Trademark and Service Mark
Both the trademark and the service mark have the same fundamental purpose. They both seek to identify and defend an individual’s or company’s product or service in the market. They contribute to distinguishing the product or service with which they are linked from those supplied by competitors in the market.
Both a registered trademark and a service mark are considered intellectual property, and others will not be able to use them without the owner’s consent. A trademark or service mark linked with a product or service must be one-of-a-kind to be registered.
The procedure for registering a trademark and a service mark is the same. The Trademarks Act of 1999 (‘Act’) does not define a service mark separately. As a result, the Act grants trademarks to both goods and services in India. A service mark used by a service provider falls under the trademark classes for services offered under the Act and can be registered as a trademark.
How does a Service Mark work?
A trademark indicates the source of goods, whereas a service mark identifies the service provider. Despite the contrast, both forms of intellectual property are usually referred to as “trademarks.”
A “service” is an intangible good or service that is supplied for the advantage of another person. Because it performs an activity rather than selling a tangible product, a prominent carpet cleaning company, for example, would likely employ a service mark in its marketing efforts.
A service mark has the standard registration symbol ® when federally registered. It’s also possible to utilize “Reg U.S. Pat & TM Off.” It is standard practice (and legal standing) to use the service mark symbol SM before registration (the common superscript SM).
Various people are confused about the differences between “TM,” “SM,” and “®” because of the many grey areas in intellectual property law. The TM and SM designations show that someone owns a trademark or service mark. The “R” symbol denotes a trademark or service mark that has been formally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Office of Patents and Trademarks (USPTO).
While registering a name or logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Although filing with the Office of Patents and Trademarks is not mandatory, there are some benefits. It establishes a “legal presumption of ownership” in all 50 jurisdictions and sends a strong signal to competitors that the registrant owns the mark.
Benefits of a Service Mark
A service mark has a plethora of advantages. These include intellectual property protection, which prevents other businesses from copying your idea or product. This designates it as a property that is not in the public domain and, as a result, is liable to legal action if any aspect of the mark’s law is broken. If someone steals your idea, you have the right to sue for monetary damages.
A service mark also enables a company to establish a distinct brand identity, which is critical in communicating to customers what the brand stands for and the level of quality they may anticipate. This allows a company to keep repeat clients who identify with the brand, which helps the company thrive.