Registering a Service Mark?

Anybody know the skinny on this?

Is it a state, or national thing? Research on taken SMs?

Does it require a lawyer? (ftr, I’m of the opinion and experience that things like incorporating etc often don’t require one)

Cost? Duration?

Any other info is appreciated.

ETA: I think I know the difference between a Service Mark and a Trade Mark, but any lawyers are free to educate me.

Trademark = goods

Service Mark = services

There is a federal registry. California also has its own registry. Registration is not required to have a valid mark, but it has advantages.

Generally valid as long as it’s used in commerce.

On whether you need a lawyer, the answer is “no”. The application can be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark office online. Just take your time, and make sure you choose the international class(es) for your service, and make sure your mark isn’t merely descriptive (e.g. “HOUSE CLEANING”).

Not sure if your service is regional or national, but perform a search to see if anyone has registered the service mark here. You want to ensure there isn’t a likelihood of confusion with anyone else’s trademark.

For a trademark registration to remain valid, an Affidavit of Use must be filed after the fifth year and the registration must be renewed every 10 years.

Filing an electronic application with the US patent and trademark office costs about $275.



Looking over the site [briefly] it looks more like a trademark only database. Is this true? If not, are you familiar with the site, or can you give me some direction specific to service marks?

Thanks again.

You don’t need a lawyer to register it. Of course you don’t need a lawyer for a patent, a trademark, a copyright or even to declare bankruptcy.

The real problem with NOT using a lawyer is the fees are non-refundable.

If you screw up the filing processes, you can always do it over but your fees are lost