What is a Service Mark?
Legally, a Service Mark is a Trademark, however, Service Marks relate to services, while Trademarks can relate to either goods or services.
When are the symbols “TM”, “SM” and “®” used?
TM SYMBOL: Parties may use the TM symbol on any trademark – whether for goods or services. Trademark owners can use the symbol TM at any time – even prior to filing a trademark application. The TM symbol just means you intend it to be a trademark.
SM SYMBOL: Parties may use the SM symbol on any trademark if it is for services. Use only the TM for products or goods. Trademark owners can use the symbol SM at any time – even prior to filing a trademark application.
THE ® SYMBOL: The ® symbol indicates that the trademark is a valid U.S. federally registered trademark. It is generally not permissible to use the ® symbol in the U.S. unless you have a valid U.S. federally registered trademark. Additionally, merely filing a trademark application is not enough, one must wait until the trademark successfully completes the entire registration process – and a trademark registration number is issued - before using the ® symbol.