A patent safeguards an original invention for a certain period of time and is granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There are three types: utility patents, plant patents and design patents. A trademark protects words and design elements that identify the source of a product. Brand names and corporate logos are primary examples. A service mark is similar, except that it safeguards the provider of a service instead of a tangible good. In popular usage, the term “trademark” is often used in reference to both designations.