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Trademark Assistance

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive sign or symbol used by individuals, businesses, or organizations to identify and distinguish their goods or services from those of others in the marketplace. Trademarks can include words, logos, slogans, colors, sounds, or any combination thereof, and are protected by law to prevent others from using them without permission. Registering a trademark with the relevant government agency provides additional legal protection and allows the trademark owner to enforce their exclusive rights to the mark.

What is a service mark?

A service mark is a type of trademark that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. It is used to identify and promote services offered by a particular company, such as consulting, financial, or legal services. Service marks can be in the form of words, phrases, logos, symbols, or a combination of these elements. Like trademarks, service marks can be registered with the appropriate government agency to gain legal protection and prevent others from using similar marks that may cause confusion among consumers.

What are the Four Types of Trademarks?
*Note: These are classified based on their relationship to the product or service they represent.

  1.  Generic Trademark:

  • A term that is commonly used to describe a product or service in a particular industry.

  • Cannot be registered as a trademark as it lacks distinctiveness.

  • Example: "Salt" for a product that contains sodium chloride.

  2.Descriptive Trademark:

  • A term that describes the product or service being offered.

  • Cannot be registered as a trademark initially, but may become eligible for trademark registration if it develops secondary meaning.

  • Example: "Holiday Inn" for a hotel chain.

​  3. Suggestive Trademark:

  • A term that suggests something about the product or service being offered without actually describing it.

  • Eligible for trademark registration and provides more protection than a descriptive trademark.

  • Example: "Netflix" for a streaming service.

  4. Arbitrary or Fanciful Trademark:

  • A term that has no connection with the product or service being offered.

  • Highly distinctive and eligible for trademark registration.

  • Example: "Apple" for a technology company.

Trademarks that are based on their level of distinctiveness.

  • Word mark: A word, phrase, or combination of words that identify and distinguish the source of goods or services. Examples include Coca-Cola and Google.​


  •   Design mark: A design, logo, symbol, or combination of these elements that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the Nike swoosh and the Apple logo.

  •   Sound mark: A sound, melody, jingle, or other auditory element that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the NBC chimes and the MGM lion roar.

  • Scent mark: A scent or smell that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the floral scent of perfume and the smell of a freshly baked apple pie.


  • Color mark: A particular color or combination of colors that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the distinctive blue color of Tiffany & Co. jewelry boxes and the red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes.

  • Motion mark: A moving image or animation that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the animated Pillsbury Doughboy and the moving Google Doodle.

  • 3D mark: A three-dimensional shape or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Examples include the Coca-Cola bottle and the Toblerone chocolate bar shape.

What are the Specimens and how are they used?

A specimen is a representative sample of a mark that is used to identify a particular product or service. It helps the public to identify the type of goods or services that are being sold. For instance, specimens for trademarks can be in the form of tags, labels, photographs, invoices, letters, brochures, catalogs, or any other items that are attached to goods for display. On the other hand, service mark specimens are used to showcase the mark in some form of advertising, such as business cards, service advertisements, brochures about the services, and so on.

What is the fees and who do we file with?

Due to several factors that vary based on application packets, such as the number of classes, the type of mark, and the mode of filing, we cannot provide a clear estimate of the filing fees. Each class is charged separately, and the fees will include our service fees and state filing fees. Please contact us with as many details as possible regarding your services or business, and we will follow up with you within 2-5 business days.

Why might an application for registration be denied or rejected?

We do not have the authority to approve or reject your application for registration. Our role is to assist you with the paperwork and filing process. 

An application for registration may be denied or rejected if it does not meet the requirements for registration. Some common reasons for denial or rejection of an application include:

  • Likelihood of confusion with an existing registered mark

  • Descriptive or generic nature of the mark

  • Use of a geographic name that is too broad

  • Use of a surname that is too common

  • The mark is immoral, scandalous, or offensive

  • The mark is functional

  • The mark is deceptive

  • Improper use of the trademark symbol (® or ™)

  • Failure to provide a proper specimen of use

  • Failure to respond to an examining attorney's office action in a timely manner.

  • Incomplete document or fields.

  • If there's no acceptable specimen which is provide for both registration and renewals. 

  • Failure to sign the document.

  • Failure to properly specify the date. The dates should include the month, day, and year. 

  • If the application is completed with anything other than a pen (black ink is preferred) or typewriter. 

  • Failure to pay the filing fees for each classification.

  • If all goods and/or services aren't listed. 

  • Failure to include mode or manner of use.

  • Failure to state the classification.

Can we check on the trademark and/or service mark? Yes.

Yes, you can check the status of your trademark or service mark. We will provide this information once your application is completed.

How long does a trademark last after registration?

Each state has its own trademark registration system, which can vary from state to state in terms of requirements, fees, and duration. While some states may offer trademark protection for up to five years, others may offer protection for a longer or shorter period of time.

On the other hand, the USPTO provides federal trademark registration, which offers nationwide protection for a period of 10 years. This registration provides a stronger scope of protection and is recognized in all 50 states.

It is important to note that state trademark registration typically only provides protection within the state in which the mark is registered, while federal trademark registration offers protection across the entire country. Additionally, the requirements for obtaining and maintaining state trademark registration can vary widely and may not offer the same level of protection as federal registration.

Mailing Address

808 Chestnut St. #33
Chattanooga, TN 37402




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