Service mark

Service mark

In some countries, notably the United States, a trademark used to identify a service rather than a product is called a service mark or servicemark. [The official definition in U.S. federal law is at 15 U.S.C. 1127.] When a service mark is federally registered, the standard registration symbol ® or "Reg U.S. Pat & TM Off" may be used (the same symbol is used to mark registered trademarks). Before it is registered, it is common practice (but has no legal standing) to use the service mark symbol ℠ (a superscript "SM").

A service mark differs from a trademark in that the mark is used on the advertising of the service rather than on the packaging or delivery of the service, since there is generally no "package" to place the mark on, which is the practice for trademarks. Transportation carriers would paint their service marks on their vehicles, such as on planes or buses. Personal service providers would put their service marks on their delivery vehicles, such as on the trucks of plumbers or on moving vans. However, if the service deals with communications, it is possible to use a service mark consisting of a sound (a sound mark) in the process of delivering the service. This has been done in the case of AT&T, which uses a tone sound followed by a woman speaking the company's name to identify its long distance service, and MGM has used the sound of a lion's roar for its motion pictures.

Under U.S. law, service marks have a different standard of use in order to count as a use in commerce, which is necessary to complete registration and to stop infringement by competitors. A trademark normally needs to be used on or directly in association with the sale of goods, such as on a store display. As services are not defined by a concrete product, use of a service mark in advertisements is instead accepted as a use in commerce.


ee also

* Certification mark
* Marketing
* Trademark

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • service mark — n: a mark (as a name) used esp. in advertising to identify and distinguish services (as transportation) of one person from another and to indicate the source of the services see also trademark act of 1946 in the important laws section compare… …   Law dictionary

  • Service Mark — ℠ Service Mark (Service Mark rsp. Servicemark; kurz: SM) ist im Markenrecht des angloamerikanischen Rechtskreises sowie von Staaten, die sich diesem Recht angeschlossen haben, der Fachbegriff für eine unregistrierte Dienstleistungsmarke.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • service mark — n a mark or device used to identify a service (as transportation or insurance) offered to customers compare TRADEMARK …   Medical dictionary

  • service mark — ☆ service mark n. a symbol, design, word, letter, slogan, etc. used by a supplier of a service, as transportation, laundry, etc. to distinguish the service from that of a competitor: usually registered and protected by law: cf. TRADEMARK …   English World dictionary

  • service mark — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms service mark : singular service mark plural service marks business a sign or symbol used by a person or company that provides a service, to show clearly that they are different from other companies …   English dictionary

  • service mark — A mark used in the sale or advertising of services to identify the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of others. West & Co., Inc. v. Arica Institute, Inc., C.A.N.Y., 557 F.2d 338, 340. The term service mark means any… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Service mark symbol — ®. The proper manner to display the symbol is immediately following the mark in superscript style.The character is mapped in Unicode under position U+2120. [] Unlike the similar trademark symbol, there… …   Wikipedia

  • service mark —    A word, phrase, logo, symbol or other device used by a business to identify a service and distinguish it from those available from competitors. A mark used to identify a product (rather than a service) is a trademark …   Business law dictionary

  • service mark — noun Date: 1945 a mark or device used to identify a service (as transportation or insurance) offered to customers …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • service mark — serv′ice mark n. bus a proprietary term, similar to a trademark, that distinguishes the seller or provider of a service Abbr.: SM • Etymology: 1945–50 …   From formal English to slang

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