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A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The Trademark Act defines the term “service mark,” but it does not define what constitutes a service. Many activities are obviously services (e.g., dry cleaning, banking, shoe repairing, transportation, and house painting). The following criteria have evolved for determining what constitutes a service: (1) a service must be a real activity; (2) a service must be performed to the order of, or for the benefit of, someone other than the applicant; and (3) the activity performed must be qualitatively different from anything necessarily done in connection with the sale of the applicant’s goods or the performance of another service.
The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.