FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS How Do I Trademark Service Names?

What are the specifics for trademarking service names?



Right now, the term "trademark" covers both product names and service names, products, and services. It works very similarly to how product names have always functioned, which we also have a short clip about. For a while, there was a differentiation between trademarks that would cover product names whereas service marks would cover services. Now, it’s interchangeable. 

So when you want to trademark your service name or the name of your service, ideally you don't want to add the type of your service into the name that is being trademarked. This goes for almost all trademarks, but there are a few exceptions. 

Let’s say that you offer accounting services. Your company name is "123 Accounting". Ideally, you would want to trademark "123" by itself, without adding the word "Accounting" to it. The only two times you would want to add "Accounting" to the name would be, firstly, if you can't reasonably get "123" by itself. 

There may be another trademark that is very similar, for example, "123 Audit Services". That could cause friction with the system At that point, you may want to try "123 Accounting" just to make sure that your trademark goes through.

The second reason to file with the word "Accounting" is after you've filed the "123" by itself. You may want to build a family of marks. That's what Apple did with iTunes. First, they filed the trademark "iTunes" by itself, and then they added "iTunes Music", "iTunes This", and "iTunes That". It allows you to protect both the combination of the name with the description and the name by itself, effectively building you a network of protection.

The perfect situation is to have them both, so "123" and "123 Accounting". Start out with the one that is generalized, and establish ownership of the unique part of your name. If that fails you, pursue the more specific name. If you have budget limitations, progress may be slow, but you might benefit greatly from seeking several trademarks that you can sell your product through. Happy tradrmarking!


Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.