Skip to main content

Should I trademark, and service mark my company ?

New Orleans, LA |

Should I do both? or will I be protected under the trademark? The company is growing, and I want to be sure I do it right the first time.

thank you.

+ Read More

Filed under: Intellectual property
Attorney answers 8


A "service" mark is a form of trademark that identifies the services (as opposed to products) associated with a specific company or enterprise. A "service" mark can also serve as a trademark in certain circumstances, and thus, it may not be necessary to get both. The decision as to whether to obtain a service mark and trademark depends on the nature of your company's business. Your "branding" decision, including your decision as to whether to obtain a trademark or service mark, is one of the most important decisions you will ever make---and it would be wise for you to retain intellectual property counsel to assist you. You will need to share with your counsel many details and facts about your business plans. Only upon receiving advice of informed counsel can you make wise decisions on these issues.


Trademarks are for goods, in specifically defined classes. Service marks are for services, also in specifically defined classes. A company that makes products doesn't need its own service mark.
You've provided no facts at all about what your company makes or does, and that's question 1 when it comes to figuring out what can be trademarked or servicemarked.

Your query makes it clear that you don't know how this whole TM thing works, but at least you recognize that a TM is a valuable thing to acquire and maintain. If you want to do this right the 1st time, because USPTO fees are non-refundable, hire a TM lawyer to help you figure out what you should get, and how to get it.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


My colleague has stated the difference between a trademark and service mark quite astutely. You should consult with an attorney so that you can be sure you do it right the first time.


When filing with the USPTO, you must identify the class of goods or services for which the mark has been used (or to which you intend to use them) in commerce. You may have to register your mark in several classes properly to protect it. Your question does not provide enough information to tell you much more. Consult with trademark counsel to discuss your specific cirumstances and to assist you in filing.

This post is for general informational purposes only. No attempt is made to provide legal advice.


It's the same thing, you just need to get to a lawyer and get it done. My firm does the trademark application, including the filing fees, for $1500. We would do a trademark search and analysis for $1250. 718-544-3434


You are on the right track by seeking way to protect your company’s product or service, or both, which is not clear from your question. I assume, you are aware of the fact that you may not “trademark or service mark” your company name because it falls under a different regime. In any event, I would like to encourage you, as all my colleagues did, to seek a formal legal advice, which will save you money and problems in the long run.


If your company only does business in Louisiana, you'll want to look into filing a trade name with the Secretary of State.

This does not create and attorney client relationship. As with all legal matters, you should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction who is familiar with the are of law in which you need assistance. You should make contact and seek advise as soon as possible as some claims have time limits and restrictions. Complete and accurate legal guidance cannot be guaranteed without a complete understanding of all aspects of your issue or potential claim.


Your company name might be both a trademark (for goods) and a service mark (for services).

If your name serves both purposes, it might be a good idea to file your application for registration for both.


The answer provided is only for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer