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What is a Service Mark?

Your company works hard to build its brand reputation and to become well-known to current and potential customers. It is important that people who are shopping for a product or for a service are able to easily identify and distinguish your business from others offering similar goods or services. What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is one important way for your brand to stand apart and distinguish itself. A service mark is very similar to a trademark but is used when providing services. It refers to a word or series of words; to a symbol; a phrase; or an emblem that is distinctive and unique and that customers can use to separate out service providers.  Your service mark is one of the most important pieces of intellectual property that your company owns and you need to ensure that you take active steps to protect it. An Irvine, CA business law attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with guidance and advice on how to protect your service mark.

What is a Service Mark

A service mark may be registered with the Secretary of State of California .  California has adopted the Model State Trademark law to determine what types of service marks can be registered.  The rules for registering a service mark are found in California Business and Professions Code sections 14200 et seq.

When you apply to register a service mark, you must file out a form entitled “Registration of Trademark or Service Mark.”  You must specify whether you are registering a service mark or a trademark and you must provide information on your business structure. You must provide a brief written description of the name and design of the mark and you also must attach a detailed drawing of the mark to your application.  You must provide information on the date that you first used the mark within the state of California, as well as the date that the mark was used anywhere in the United States.  Finally, you must provide a list of specific services.

When you register a service mark with the Secretary of State of California, the mark is protected within the state. However, if you want broader protection throughout the United States, then you will need to register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

You need to understand all of the rules associated with registering a trademark or a service mark and you need to ensure that your mark is original when you register it.  You also need to make sure you complete the forms properly and that you renew your registration when it expires in order to continue protecting your brand identity.

An Irvine, CA business law attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with legal guidance and advice on registering a service mark and otherwise taking steps to protect your organization’s interests. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you to protect all of your company’s intellectual property.