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The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Trademark Information

What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?

trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.

servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks that are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the USPTO. The registration procedure for trademarks and general information concerning trademarks can be found at basic facts about Trademarks.

Basic Facts About Trademarks Booklet - 2016 pdf



 Trademark Assistance Center

Provides trademark information and services to the public.

  • Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • Toll free: 1-800-786-9199 (press 1)
  • Local: 571-272-9250 (press 0)
  • International: 1-571-272-9250 (press 0)

U.S. Trademark Searching

Trademark Searching can be complicated due to the different parts involved.

A trademark usually consists of three distinct parts:

  1. Name or Wordmark
  2. Logo, Picture, or Design
  3. Class of Goods and Services

A Trademark search usually consists of searching these three parts individually and then putting them together.

1.  Searching the Name or Wordmark
Using the Basic Word Mark Search option is an excellent place to begin.

Search the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
Searching TESS Tips

2.  Searching for the Logo, Picture, or Design
Browse and search the USPTO Design Search Code Manual

3.  Searching the Class of Goods and Services
Each type of goods or service has a class code, and you are searching for this code.

Search Trademark Next Generation Application Trademark ID Manual

And, of course, you will also want to search the internet for such trademarks to see if the word, logo, or design has been used in commerce previously.