Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright: Its Difference, Importance, & Impact On Your Business

Brand plays a vital role by keeping your business and its offerings distinct by giving it a unique identity in the marketplace. The key to influence the customers is the way you portray your product or a service to the public, which makes them buy or connect with your business or the products and services that it offers. It is therefore important to have a clear understanding of Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright. Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

When an entrepreneur starts a business, he/she has to assign the product, service or even the business setup itself with a unique name or insignia so that his/her brand and its products or services have a unique and creative identity to distinguish itself from other businesses who offer a similar product or service.

Once the individual finalizes the brand name and insignia for his/ her products or services offered. They have to be protected so that they cannot be copied or used by a third party intentionally or unintentionally.

For example, You start a business with a name, let’s say: “Chi’s Bakery” in India. A third party might name his business with a similar way such as “Chi’s Bakehouse”, this third party, may either be unaware of your brand or intentionally try to copy it. This will harm your business in a very bad way by creating confusion and misleading your customers. The same case goes for your business’s insignia, product or a service.

Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

Hence, to stay away from trouble, there are some legal processes to keep the identity of your business unique, namely     Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

  1. Trademark
  2. Service-mark
  3. Copyright                               Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

We will be talking here about the spot on differences between Trademark, Service-mark and a Copyright. Below you can find a self-explanatory table stating the differences in the nature of the protection these three provide.

Trademark Service-mark


A trademark protects the name, logo, and slogan of a business to distinguish its product. A service mark protects the name, logo, and slogan of a business to distinguish its service(s) offered. A copyright offers protection only for original creative content, i.e. a book, a movie script, or an art.
It is used to differentiate a registered brand and is indicated as ®. If you have not registered with the federal authorities you have to use the logo if you sell products of a different brand. Use if you have your own unregistered trademark/product line. Note: The logo & ℠ has to be used for unregistered trademarks & service mark only. It provides the right to control the usage of a creative content and is indicated with the following insignia: ©.
It serves the purpose to stop competitors from damaging your business name/reputation and earn profits for their own business. It protects the same entities like that of a trademark.  It provides creators with exclusive rights to their works, hence allowing them to profit from their creative endeavors.
If you have a business and you want to protect its name, logo, or slogan, then you would need a trademark. Getting a service mark is actually the same as a trademark. Use TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) the follow the same process as that of a trademark. If you have created content, then your work should seek the copyright law.
Entities that fall under Trademark:

  • Business Names
  • Business Slogan
  • Business Logos
Entities that fall under Service Mark:

  • Business Names
  • Business Slogan
  • Business Logos


 Entities that fall under Copyright:

  •  Books
  • Manuscripts
  • Movie Scripts/Names
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Song Lyrics
  • Music Notes
  • Logos
It will cost you around $970 inclusive of govt. the filing fee and attorney fees to trademark your IP. It will cost you around $970 inclusive of govt. the filing fee and attorney fees to service mark your IP. It will cost you around $250-$500 inclusive of attorney fee else you can DIY at $35-$55 directly through the web portal to copyright your IP.
The time taken to get your IP trademarked is about 12 – 18 Months The time taken is the same as getting a trademark. Once the creative content gets a tangible form, I.e. on a piece of paper or a digital file A base level copyright protection applies to it automatically. The time taken to get your IP copyrighted is 3 months if registered electronically and 10 months if done through hard copy.
It doesn’t offer any royalty benefits. It doesn’t offer any royalty benefits. The royalties/profits can be earned by granting permit/ authorizing a third party for the usage of his/her IP. But it can be earned up to the following time:(life of the creator + 70 years)


  • Logos bears the only exception, as it can be protected by both the protective laws i.e. trademark and copyright. It can represent as a creative artwork (which requires copyright protection), as well as provide a unique identity to a product or service (which requires trademark protection). Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright
  • Service marks are virtually the same as Trademarks; most companies end up being registered with both service marks as well as trademarks. Most importantly it’s not significant whether you get a trademark or a service mark, as both lead to the similar objective i.e. protecting your mark/business identity.

Our Approach

We, at the Trademark Search Company, helps assess trademark, trade-name or any other trade-related assets by providing corporates, excellent trademark watch services anywhere in selected jurisdictions. We are successfully serving our corporate clients from 45+ countries, covering a span for 92+ countries across the globe.

To know more, please visit our service page.  Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright

Similar Insight: Not All Trademark Errors Are Fixable. Learn How to Avoid Them!!

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