DEFINITION of ‘Service Mark’
A brand name or logo that identifies the provider of a service. A service mark may consist of a word, phrase, symbol, design or some combination of these elements. A form of intellectual property protection, the mark prevents competing businesses from using names and insignias that could potentially confuse consumers.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘Service Mark’
Whereas trademarks identify the source of goods, a service mark designates the provider of a service. Despite the distinction, the term “trademark” is commonly used to describe both forms of intellectual property.
A “service” is something intangible provided for the benefit of another party. For instance, a major carpet cleaning company would likely use a service mark in its marketing efforts because it performs an activity rather than offering a physical product.
While registering a name or logo with the U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks isn’t expressly required, there are some advantages to doing so. It sends a clear signal to competitors that the registrant enjoys ownership of the mark and provides a “legal presumption of ownership” in all 50 states.