The purpose of a "mark" is to distinguish goods and services from those
of others. Trademark, Service Mark, and Trade Name registrations are administered
at the state level in the Office of the Secretary of State. Trademark and service
mark registrations were codified in 1981. Trade name registrations were codified in 1988.
Although the term "Trademark" is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks,
the two marks serve different purposes. A trademark is used to identify goods made or sold.
A service mark is used to identify services rendered. A trade name is used to identify the
business, vocation, occupation, or profession.
Trademarks, service marks and trade names may be registered by submitting an
application for registration, three specimens and the registration fee. The effective
term for mark registrations is five years. Trademarks, service marks and trade names may
be renewed by submitting an
application for renewal, one specimen and the renewal fee.
If the owner of a mark changes as a result of lawful transfer of the mark, a notarized statement of assignment must be filed in this office with the assignment fee.
Rejection/denial of mark registration by this office does not prevent use of the mark.
Rights of ownership are achieved through the common laws of adoption and usage in
Alabama. The Common Law of Alabama states that once you adopt and use a mark and are
documented as the first to use such mark, you are entitled to exclusive rights to that
mark. Any conflict of ownership is handled outside the Secretary of State's Office and
is an issue for the courts.
You may search online records to retrieve information for all marks registered in the state.
Lands & Trademarks / Authentications
100 N. Union St., Suite 770
Montgomery, AL 36130
PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616