Supplemental & Principal Registers of the USPTO
Comprehensive Service Mark Practice
STEVEN IVY P.C. provides a comprehensive service mark registration practice. The firm helps individuals, start-ups, small and big businesses protect identity of their services by registering names of their companies with the United State Patent and Trademark Office.
The hallmark of our practice is personal service. Therefore, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their interests are properly protected. STEVEN IVY P.C. is servicing clients in several Illinois counties, including: Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Will County, McHenry County and Kendall County. Our clients can meet with us in eight Illinois locations, including: Chicago, Lisle, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, and Warrenville.
Differences Between Service Mark and Trademark
The term trademark is commonly used when referring to both trademarks and service marks. This frequently causes confusion, and in some instance misapplication. However, the difference between a service mark and trademark are quite obvious. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicates that a service mark is identical to a trademark, with one exception. Unlike trademark, a service mark identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product itself.
Using Service Marks
Again, a service mark identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product itself. Consequently, when the focus is on advertising services, think service mark; when the focus is on the packaging or the product itself, think trademark. For example, service marks are used on busses (Greyhound) and planes (American Airline) to identify the name of the carrier.
Benefits of Owning a Service Mark
Registering your service mark in the Principal Register, provides constructive (implied) notice to everyone that your are the owner of such mark. As such, you can prevent others from using your mark domestically, or request exclusion of imports by the Bureau of Customs . If someone infringes on your mark, and litigation is required, you'll become the plaintiff (the injured party) and the infringer is the accused (the defended) facing an uphill battle, diminishing his/her chances of success.
Sound Service Marks
As with trademarks, which protect many forms of expression that identify products and goods, service marks protect various forms of expression that identify the source of service. Accordingly, if used in process of delivering services, a service mark my consist of a sound, or a combination of sounds. For example, an internet service provider may be able to service mark the sound emitted upon opening its browser, or a phone company may service mark the sound made by their phones when activated.
Applying for Service Marks
Service marks are registered in the Principal Register of the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office. To complete the registration process of your service mark, you must prove its use in commerce. This is the easy part, because most forms of advertisement, such as websites or business cards, will be accepted as use in commerce. There are many other steps in the application process. In addition to filing the application and paying the appropriate fees, a search of existing service marks should be performed to avoid any infringement issues. If the application is rejected, don't be surprised and don't give up, it is likely you will be able to address the examiner's concerns and fix the problem. The registration is valid for a period of ten years, at the end of this period you a renewal application to maintain the trademark.
If the registration of your service mark in the Principal Register was rejected, you may try registering it in the Supplemental Register, also maintained by the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office. Marks registered on the Supplemental Register do not receive the same protection as those on the Principal Register. However, you will be able to use the registration symbol ®, and under proper circumstance, may be able to obtain injunctive relief and money damages from those that infringed on your mark.