KRIS W. KOBACH
Secretary of State
image of the Kansas Secretary of State seal
STATE OF KANSAS
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564
www.sos.ks.gov

Trademark/Service mark

General Information and Forms

NEW: Please note that the filing process has changed:

  • New forms are available below. Outdated forms will not be accepted after September 1, 2011.
  • Three (3) different samples must accompany the application for a new mark. Samples must meet the guidelines set forth by the United States Patent and Trademark Office available at www.uspto.gov. The samples must be flat and no larger than 8 ˝ by 11 inches (ex: a label or photograph of packaging).
  • Upon filing, the application for new registration will be certified with a new file stamp and returned to the applicant. The filed application with the certified stamp represents the certificate of registration.
  • I. Why might I register a mark?

    The registration of a mark is designed to prevent customer confusion and unfair competition by providing public notice of the use of a particular mark. A mark cannot be reserved and may not be registered until it has been used in commerce.


    Legal rights for a mark can only be obtained through actual use of the mark and are subject to the common law rights of others. Registration with the Secretary of State does not affect these common law rights. Only an attorney can advise a business about the nature and extent of its rights to the use of the mark.

    II. What is a mark?

    A mark is something that identifies a good or service. It can consist of a design alone, words and a design together, words or letters in a certain style, or words or letters alone. A mark must be able to distinguish the goods or services of others and it must meet statutory requirements.

    III. What is the difference between a trademark or service mark?

    Trademarks are used by merchants and manufacturers to identify goods as their own. They also are referred to as brand names.


    Service marks identify services and the source of those services. Retail stores, restaurant services and printing services are included as types of services. A service mark’s primary function is to designate the source of the services provided, but it may at the same time function as a identification of the business which provides the service.

    IV. What symbols can be used to denote a mark?

    Unregistered marks may use the symbol TM or SM to provide notice of use. Marks registered in this office may use the words Registered or Reg. Only federally registered marks may use the ® symbol. Federal registration is obtained through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1-800-PTO-9199. You can obtain more information about the U.S. Patent and Trade-Mark Office by visiting their Web site, www.uspto.gov.

    V. When is a Copyright Registration used?

    A copyright is a registration for literary or artistic work. A copyright may be granted only by the federal government. Federal registration is obtained through the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000, (202) 707-9100 or (202) 707-3000.

    VI. How do I file a trademark or service mark at the Kansas Secretary of State?

    To file your Trademark or Service mark, please click on the Form Name below to select the form you need. You may then print the form on your printer, complete by hand, and mail to our office with a check or money order made payable to Secretary of State.

    FORM NAME DESCRIPTION
    SMA Service mark Application
    TMA Trademark Application
    TSR Trademark or Service mark Renewal
    TSS Trademark or Service mark Assignment
    TSC Trademark or Service mark Cancellation
    TSN Trademark Service Mark Name Change of Registrant/Owner
       
    NOTE: You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the forms. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be downloaded, for free, from Adobe Systems, Incorporated by clicking here.
     
    To review your filing status, visit our Business Filing Center and click on Perform a Business Entity Search.

    The Secretary of State's office is a filing agency. If you are a business services customer who would like legal or other professional advice, we suggest you seek assistance from an attorney, accountant or other professional to assist you with the laws governing the formation and operation of business entities.