INBiz: Your One-Stop Source for your Business.

Trademarks - Business Services - INBiz

distinguish your brand.
Register a trademark.



VS.

Trademark

any word, name, symbol or device adopted and used by a person to identify his goods and distinguish them from those of others. Trademark status may also be granted to distinctive and unique packaging, color combinations, building designs, product styles and overall presentations.

Service Mark

a mark used by a person in the sale or advertising of his services to identify his services and distinguish them from the services of others. Service marks receive the same legal protection as trademarks but are meant to distinguish services rather than products.

Indiana law prohibits the
following trademarks or
service marks :

  1. Marks that consist of or comprise immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter
  2. Marks that consist of or comprise matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with
    persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or
    disrepute
  3. Marks that consist of or comprise the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States, or of any
    state or municipality, or of the United Nations or any foreign nation
  4. Marks that consist of or comprise the name, signature or portrait of any living individual, except with his
    or her written consent
  5. Marks That are:
    1. merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive;
    2. primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively geographically misdescriptive; or
    4. merely a surname.

A person who uses a trademark or service mark in this state may apply with
the Secretary of State to register a mark. Trademarks and service marks are
effective for five years and may be renewed six months prior to the
expiration date. Registrants are notified of pending expiration at least six
months prior to the expiration date. The ownership of a trademark or service
mark may be transferred by filing an assignment.

In accordance with Indiana law, all trademark and service mark transactions must be submitted online at INBiz.in.gov. All trademark filing fees are nonrefundable, whether the filing is accepted or rejected.

The Secretary of State's office maintains a searchable database of trademarks and service marks registered in this state.

The Secretary of State's office does not resolve conflicts over ownership of registered trademarks and service marks.

It is the applicant's responsibility to determine if a mark is already in use in other states or has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Failure to do so may result in a civil action being filed against you. The acceptance of a trademark filing by the Indiana Secretary of State does not establish rights to the mark.

Bear in mind that an Indiana complainant may recover treble damages or profits (3 times the damage or profit amount) and attorney's fees. The details for trademark protection and how to achieve it are best discussed with a trademark attorney.

It's important to understand the distinctions between trademarks/service marks and copyrights and patents, which are overseen by the federal government.

Copyrights vs. Patents
  1. Copyrights

    Copyrights protect original artistic or literary works. For more information, call the U.S. Copyright Office at
    877-476-0778 or visit their website.

  2. Patents

    Patents protect inventions. For more information, call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at 800-786-9199 or visit
    patent FAQs.

For additional information, please consult the frequently asked questions or contact INBiz.