What is SAM? – Patent, Trademark or Copyright?


Dear M & M:

Someone told me I need to be registered in something called SAM. What is Sam and why do I need to register?

– Veronica

Dear Veronica:

Sam is the anachronism for the System for Award Management (SAM). Sam is a Web-enabled government wide application that collects, validates, stores and disseminates business information about the federal government’s trading partners in support of the contract award, grants and the electronic payment processes. Prior to July 2012, this functionality was handled by the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). When your organization registers with SAM, you must designate an E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC). The E-Biz POC uses the MPIN (Marketing Personal Identification Number) given by SAM to login to Grants.gov and to designate which staff members from your organization are allowed to submit applications electronically through Grants.gov. Staff members from your organization designated to submit applications are called Authorized Organization Representatives (AOR). Summarizing, the System for Award Management (SAM) is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. There is NO fee to register for this site. Entities may register at no cost directly from this page https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ . User guides and webinars are available under the Help tab.


Dear M & M:

What is the difference between a patent, trademark or copyright?

– John

Dear John:

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks. Must all marks be registered? No, but federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration. A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

The Trademark Operation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademarks only. For information on patents, please visit patents or contact 800-786-9199. For information on copyrights, please contact the U.S. Copyright Office (a division of the Library of Congress). – USPTO


To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org .


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