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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Trademarks

A trademark or service mark is a word, name, symbol, or device or combination of these used by a person to identify and distinguish the goods or services of that person and to indicate the source of the goods or services. A mark can be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State provided the mark meets the statutory requirements for registration.

The registration of a mark with the Secretary of State’s Office is only for the State of South Carolina. The registration of a mark is renewable every five years. A mark must be in use before it can be registered with the Secretary of State's Office. Please note that rights granted by state registration may be affected or pre-empted by prior use or other registration of the mark.

You can register your mark federally or apply for a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For copyright information, please visit the United States Copyright Office.

To register a trademark or service mark in the state of South Carolina, applicants must file the Application for Registration of a Trademark or Service Mark (PDF). This is also the form you will use to renew your trademark or service mark. Please read carefully all instructions and information in the Trademark/Service Mark Application packet. If you need assistance in completing your application, you will need to consult a private attorney.  The Trademarks Division cannot provide legal advice to customers.

Application fees submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office with a trademark or service mark application are not refundable, as provided under S.C. Code §39-15-1185.

If the Trademarks Division determines that the mark is not entitled to registration, you will be notified of the reason that the application was denied.  You will then have fifteen (15) days to amend and resubmit the application. If the applicant fails to amend and resubmit the application within fifteen (15) days, then the application will be deemed abandoned and the application fee forfeited.  Any subsequent application must be accompanied by a separate application fee.

To transfer the ownership of a registered trademark or service mark, please complete and file the Assignment of a Trademark or Service Mark (PDF).

The South Carolina Secretary of State's Office provides a list of trademarks and service marks currently registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State's Office for the public.

The Secretary of State's Office investigates the possession and distribution of counterfeit goods and the fraudulent use of registered trademarks. Please contact the Investigations Division at 803-734-1728 or investigations@sos.sc.gov with any information or complaints concerning trademark and counterfeit goods violations.