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If you have been thinking about hair restoration, you have probably discovered that hair restoration, replacement and transplants are surgical procedures marketed under many service-marked names. You can probably find a half-dozen or more service marks involving hair restoration by scanning your daily newspaper, a few consumer magazines, and by a brief search of the Web. What common procedures may be offered under a service mark? See Hair Restoration Surgery Glossary for more information.

Some registered service marks involving hair restoration are owned by individuals, and some are owned by clinics specializing in hair transplantats.

A service mark does NOT do is specifically describe the service being offered. A service-marked name is not descriptive. It is suggestive, as required by law—that is, it suggests the nature of the service being offered, but it does not specifically describe the nature of that service.

It is up to you to do your homework. Learn all that you can about hair restoration from objective sources such as this Website of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)—an international professional society. In general, the ISHRS discourages its members from using service-marked items to describe their procedures because of the potential to confuse potential patients. Dig below the surface to find out specifically the nature of the hair transplant procedure being offered under the service-marked name. Getting a second opinion is always a good idea if you want to be sure of making an informed decision about something as important as hair restoration. Ask about the training and credentials of the person or persons who would be involved in carrying out your hair restoration procedure.

Learn all you can about reasons for your hair loss, and whether hair restoration is the best approach for your hair restoration needs. Learn about both surgical and non-surgical approaches to hair restoration, potential side effects and complications of hair restoration procedures. Have a frank discussion about the cost associated with hair restoration, but don’t make a decision based on “bargain shopping” because cost is only one of the factors you should consider.

The purpose of a service mark is not to mislead potential users of the service. Service marks protect the intellectual property of a vendor whose service has met the legal tests required by law. They give a service a unique name to attract potential clients. A service mark gives a service a unique identity, but it does not assure that the service is any better or worse than other services of a similar nature that may or may not be service-marked.

The decision is in your hands – after you are satisfied that you have become fully informed.

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