How to register a Service mark
The process involved in service mark registration is largely based on the trademark registration process. Some jurisdictions do not recognize the term service mark and will simply register a service mark in the same was as they would for a trademark. The process of registering a service mark can be a time consuming procedure depending on the selected intellectual property registry, and number of countries you seek registration in. As such, it is prudent to enlist the services of a professional consultancy firm to assist with the service mark registration.
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Process involved to register a Service mark
Service marks are the same as trademarks in their entirety with the only difference being that a service mark represents a service while a trademark represents a trade or product. Most service marks are registered in the US and it should be noted that many countries do not recognize a service mark as well as a trademark, some only recognize trademarks even if the mark represents a service.
The process to register a service mark includes but is not limited to the following:
- You will first need a service mark that meets the required specifications and prerequisites in line with your chosen intellectual property registry
- Once you have created your service mark, you are advised to perform a trademark/service mark search in order to ascertain whether it is available to register prior to filing the official application and fee
- You will need to file the official service mark or trademark application form (depending on which country you are in) together with the appropriate fee and other due diligence documents to the registry to commence the application procedure
- The intellectual property registry will conduct an independent service mark search and ensure that your mark is available to register before approving it
- The mark will be published in the official gazette to allow for objections to be voiced
- Provided there are no objections, and the registry approves the registration, you will then receive a certificate of registration.
- Where objections do occur, an appeal can be made.
Anyone individual or company who owns a service mark has the right to register it under the appropriate trademark laws. Becoming the legal owner of a service mark through registration is highly beneficial for individuals and companies as it prevents third parties and competitors from abusing the mark and using it without permission.