Service mark is merely a trade mark which is used in connection with service related matters (e.g.: insurance).
Note: Both the application and search can be done on-line also;
- Trademark Electronic Search System. (TESS)
- Trademark Electronic Application System. (TEAS)
Application of registration of service marks is to be applied to the trademark offices situated in the cities of Kolkata, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Chennai. Registering a Service mark is almost as same as Trademark registration. The trademarks are further classified into different classes (under Schedule IV of the Trade mark rules) for the better understanding and ease use for Attorneys. There are 45 classes in total out of which class 1 to 34 deals with the product and class 35 to 45 deals with the chapter of ‘services’. So generally when a mark gets registered under class 35 to 45 it is known as “service marks”.
The protection for service mark under the statute came into effect only w.e.f. 15th September, 2003 when the Act came in to force. This legal position should be kept in mind while dealing with protection of ‘service marks’ matter.
In Keshav Kumar Aggarwal v NIIT Limited; the defendant is a leading provider of education and training services under the trademark and name NIIT. The mark /name NIIT is a well known mark within the meaning of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 In addition to the trademark NIIT, ‘THE TURNING POINT’, is the service mark used by the defendant for various course classes. The defendant contended that, So far as the expression ‘TURNING POINT’ is concerned, it the service mark of the defendant and the plaintiff is not entitled to use their service mark as it amounts to clear infringement. The court also upheld the decree in favor of the defendant.
In Flight Center Travels Private Limited v Flight Centre Limited and another: This appeal arose when the appellant alleges using of its service mark FLIGHT CENTER by the respondent in various advertisements and also in its domain name. The court after hearing the dispute, allowed this appeal citing the respondents have used the service mark of the appellants with malice.
In Amit Sood, Haryana v Roshan Portraits, Haryana and another: the appellant with bonafidely adopted ‘ROSHAN’ as their service mark for the service of professional photography. The appeal is dismissed for the reason
‘There is nothing to show that the mere mention of the words ‘ROSHAN STUDIO’ will indicate a trade mark connection with the applicant or his services’.
The above judicial pronouncements give us clear knowledge about the concept of service mark in India, the thin difference between Trademark and service mark and infringement of service mark.