What does Service Mark mean?
A service mark is a word, name, symbol, or combination of those elements that is used by a person or a business to identify that party's services uniquely from the services offered by any other party.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office manages the registration and maintenance processes related to service marks. Although registration of a service mark is not required, it is necessary if one want to obtain the benefits of service mark registration.
The benefits of service mark registration include the right to use the service mark exclusively within the United States, bring legal action against others concerning infringement of the service mark, and obtain registration of the service mark in foreign countries.
Once a service mark is registered, the owner can maintain and renew the service mark indefinitely. To maintain a service mark, the owner must file a Declaration of Use between the fifth and sixth year after the original service mark registration. In addition, the owner must file a Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal between the ninth and tenth year after the original service mark registration and every ten years thereafter. While parties in the United States consider service mark a distinct term from trademark, parties in other countries typically do not use the term service mark.
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Patent pending typically refers to a situation where a manufacturer has applied for a patent related to a specific item or manufacturing process but the United States Patent and Trademark Office has not yet approved the patent.