Trademark, Service-mark, And Copyright: Difference, Importance, & Impact

Brand plays a vital role in 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 service to the public, which makes them buy or connect with your business or the products and services that it offers. It is therefore essential to have a clear understanding of the 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”. 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. It will harm your business in a terrible way by creating confusion and misleading your customers. The same case goes for your business’s insignia, product or service.

Also read: 10 Major Benefits of Trademark

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 certain table stating the differences like the protection these three provide.

Trademark Service-mark


A trademark protects the name, logo, and slogan of business to distinguish its product. A service mark protects the name, logo, and slogan of business to distinguish its service(s) offered. 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 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 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 government the filing fee and attorney fees to trademark your IP. It will cost you around $970 inclusive of government 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 three months if registered electronically and ten 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. However, 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 involves 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 a similar objective, i.e. protecting your mark/business identity.

Also read: All You Need to Know About Common Law Trademark

Our Approach

We, at TMReady, help 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

Other Important Insights: Not All Trademark Errors Are Fixable. Learn How to Avoid Them!!

Trademark Filing Timeline

Global Trademark Search and its significance

Trademark Search Monitoring Resources

Here you can Download our All free Resources:

Trademark Samples (Trademark Search and Monitoring), Guides, E-books, Case-studies, Approaches, Methodologies, etc.

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