The answer is simple: A trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services, while a service mark does the same for services but not products. Both terms are used interchangeably in the USPTO trademark search database. The USPTO refers to both as trademarks in its trademark database. A common misconception is that “TM” stands for trademark and “SM” stands for service mark; this isn’t true! Instead, “TM” stands for trademark and “SM” stands for service mark; you can use either one to identify your trademark or service mark. It’s up to you whether you want to use them – it’s not mandatory.”
Trademarks are any word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of these, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
Trademarks can be used in connection with a variety of goods including clothing and accessories; toys; games; furniture; housewares; jewelry; luggage tags (see more on Trademark Application for Clothing); sporting equipment (such as tennis rackets); musical instruments (like guitars); foodstuffs such as cheese spreads or jam products; alcoholic beverages (such as beer) and much more. In recent years many different types of service marks have been registered including internet services like software development companies who develop websites for clients to use their services online such as www.domainservicesincanada.com
A service mark is any word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of these, that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. For example:
- The term “Frigidaire” is a product mark for refrigerators made by General Electric Company.
- The term “Publix” is a service mark for supermarkets located in Florida and Georgia operated by Publix Super Markets Incorporated. It is also used as an umbrella term to refer to related companies such as Publix Deli & Bakery LLC (which makes baked goods) and Publix Pharmacy Incorporated (which operates drugstores).
Although there are differences between trademarks and service marks, they are used interchangeably in many places. In fact, the USPTO search database uses both terms to refer to both types of marks. This is true even though the USPTO refers to both as trademarks in its trademark database.
The USPTO refers to both as trademarks in its trademark database, so you’ll find that the terms are used interchangeably. The USPTO uses the term “trademark” to refer not only to trademarks but also to marks (and collective marks and certification marks).
The terms “TM” and “SM” are used interchangeably, but they can be applied to either goods or services. In the USPTO database, you’ll find that this organization uses the term “mark.”
As you may have noticed, there is no such thing as a mark. The term refers specifically to marks for goods (e.g., trademarks).
Instead, “TM” stands for trademark and “SM” stands for service mark; you can use either to identify your trademark or service mark.
In the United States, a trademark is a word, phrase or symbol that identifies and distinguishes a company’s goods and services from those of others. A service mark is used in this way by businesses providing services rather than products. The main difference between trademarks and service marks is that trademarks are registered with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), while service marks are not.
Despite their similarities, there are several key differences between these two forms of intellectual property protection:
You do not have to use the ® symbol. It is optional, but if you do use it, it’s best to use it consistently. This will help people recognize your trademark and/or service mark and understand that you are claiming rights in that word or phrase.
The ™ symbol also does not have to be used with your product or in advertising. It’s up to you whether you want to use them.
The difference between the trademark and service mark symbols is that one is used to indicate that a certain term is being used as a trademark or service mark, while the other indicates that a particular term is being used as either a trademark or service mark. It is not mandatory to use these symbols with your product or in advertising – you can use them if you want to indicate that a certain term is being used as a trademark or service mark.
However, it’s important to note that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does require these symbols on government documents regarding trademarks and services marks; this includes USPTO trademark application for registration of trademarks and service marks, renewal applications for existing registrations, documents related to litigation involving trademarks/marks and other official correspondence from the USPTO related to trademarks/service marks cases (for example: cease & desist orders).
Trademark and service mark are types of intellectual property that protect the source identifier for goods and services. Trademarks and service marks can be words, phrases, symbols and other sources used to identify particular brands.
Trademarks and service marks are sought for brand names, slogans, logos and other source identifiers. These identifiers may include:
- A word or name (such as “Coca-Cola”)
- A design (such as the Nike Swoosh logo)
- A slogan or jingle (such as “Just Do It!”)
TM vs SM – Which Should You Choose?
TM stands for trademark and SM stands for service mark. These two symbols are not mandatory, but they’re used to indicate that you have a claim to the trademark or service mark.
Trademarks are used for products, services, and companies. Trademarks can be words (like Coca-Cola), designs (like Apple’s logo), or even sounds (like Intel’s jingle). A company typically registers its trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). US trademark registration provides protection from others using your product’s name without permission or misrepresenting your product as theirs. You can register a trademark if you have intent to use it in commerce in association with goods or services; if you don’t intend on selling anything under this name; or if you want legal protection against someone else trying to claim your idea as their own by registering it first with the USPTO.
A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
A service mark is used to identify and distinguish the source of a service, rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and service marks (and sometimes other types of intellectual property).
A trademark or mark is generally registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) by filing an application for registration pursuant to 15 U.S.C 1051 et seq., or under common law in some jurisdictions.
You may be wondering, why do we need both a service mark and trademark? Well, it’s because they serve two different purposes. A service mark is used to indicate that someone is providing a certain type of service, whereas a trademark can be used to identify and distinguish the source of any product. That said, there are some similarities between these terms – both are registered trademarks under United States law (and other countries have similar laws). In fact, there’s no difference between the two when it comes down to filing paperwork with the USPTO – they’re both filed under “Trademark” category in their database!