If you want to register a service mark, you can visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and file an application with them. The process of registering a service mark is actually similar to that of a trademark. However, if you are a first time applicant, it would be a great idea to consult a trademark or service mark lawyer to help you with the registration process. It would also be a step in the right direction to visit the website of the USPTO and learn all there is to know about the service mark.
There are just a couple of things you need to remember if you want to register a service mark. Some of these are:
- Only the owners of the mark are allowed to file an application to register a service mark. The USPTO describes the owner of the mark as a person or an entity who uses or controls its use, as well as controls the nature and quality of the services being offered.
- You must ensure that your service mark is unique and distinct from all other marks before submitting your registration forms. There are many ways to ensure that your service mark is not a copy of, or bears remarkable resemblance to, other marks already registered and being used by other companies or persons. You can either use the Internet to see if there are other entities using such mark, or you can easily use the Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS, to see if there is already someone else using the service mark that you have in mind.
- Before you register, be sure to obtain a scanned copy of the service mark you intend to use. Furthermore, make sure to indicate the class or category your service comes under, as well as your basis for filing such application.
Steps in Applying for a Service Mark
As mentioned before, the process of applying for a service mark is similar to that with the trademark. While the process itself is pretty straightforward and can be accomplished in just an hour, this does not mean that it is downright easy. Filing an application for a service mark require the applicant to pay attention to detail. The steps involved are:
- If you have an Internet connection, go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and navigate to the service mark application page
- Decide whether you want to apply online using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), or the TEAS Plus form. Among the biggest distinctions between the two is that normal TEAS forms need only five completed requirements, while the TEAS Plus form require the applicants to meet all the requisites mentioned under rule 2.22(a). Furthermore, the TEAS Plus form has a cheaper application fee at $275 compared to the application fee under the regular TEAS form at $325. There is also a link that applicants can click in order for them to be taken to the page where rule 2.22(a) can be found. Try to review the rule and determine if you are eligible to apply using TEAS Plus form. If not, you can instead apply using the TEAS form.
- Once you have determined which form you can use, you can now click the button marked “Continue.
- You will then be asked to indicate whether an attorney will be filing the service mark application or not. There is a “Yes” and “No” button found at the bottom of the page to allow applicants to submit their answer. The application form that will be generated by the system will depend on which button you click. After this, you can click “Continue.
- The next page will allow you to provide the system with your business information. This includes basic contact and location information, the name of the owner of the service mark, as well as the type of entity the service mark is for. This can either be for individual use, a trust, or a corporation. After filling out your business information, you can click the “Continue” button
- You will now be asked to complete your service mark application form by attaching your service mark in JPG format, as well as any evidence, consent information, foreign registration certificates and all other required attachments or information. If you will be applying for registration of a sound mark, then you can attach a general audio format of the sound, such as a WAV or MP3 format.
- After completing your service mark application, click the button marked “Validate.” This will take you to the validation page where you may review your application in its entirety to make sure that it is accurate.
- When done, look for the button marked “Pay/Submit” on the validation page and then select your method of payment. The payment options shown are for credit card, electronic funds transfer or directly through a deposit account. Select your desired payment method and submit it.
- Once you have submitted your payment method and information, you will be taken to the confirmation page where you can find a serial number. Write this serial number down and keep it in a safe place. This number can be used on the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval website in order for you to check the status of your application.
Make sure to finish the entire process within an hour as the application page will time out beyond this allotted time. Furthermore, you must also remember that the application fee you paid is non-refundable, which is why it is important to make sure everything is in order before submitting the application form.