Service Mark

The famous Louis Vuitton logo is some of the most valuable intellectual property in the world. The Legal notice portion of the website gives us some insight into the ownership of these logos and symbols.

“Louis Vuitton ® is a registered trademark of Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (“LVM”), as well as all the other related trademarks and certain other LVM trademarks, service marks, graphics, and logos (collectively, the “LVM Trademarks”) used in connection with the sale and distribution of Louis Vuitton products.”

The logo is part of the company’s trademarks. Trademark is a term that you may be familiar with. The U.S patent and trademark office (USPTO) defines trademarks as marks “used by their owners to identify goods, that is, physical commodities, which may be natural, manufactured, or produced, and which are sold or otherwise transported or distributed via interstate commerce.”

Sending goods bearing the trademark from one state to another would be using the trademark in interstate commerce

he USPTO defines service marks as a particular type of trademark that, instead of identifying a tangible good, is used to “identify services, that is, intangible activities, which are performed by one person for the benefit of a person or persons other than himself, either for pay or otherwise.”

For a service, interstate commerce is a bit different according to the USPTO. “With services, ‘interstate commerce’ generally involves rendering a service to customers in another state or rendering a service that affects interstate commerce (e.g., restaurants, gas stations, hotels).”

Registration Of Service Mark In India And USA

An applicant interested in registering a service mark should identify the location of his or her service-providing company and fill the form TM-1 including all the relevant documents- a soft copy of the service mark in jpeg format, registration fee, details about the applicant’s company and its business, information of the Trade Marks Agent/Lawyer, Power of Attorney, information about the service mark along with the class and subclasses in which the company aims to provide services and register its service mark, date of use of service mark or proposal to use, and other relevant documents. 

The Trademark Registry upon receipt of the application, examines the contents of the service marks, verifying the uploaded documents and publishes the application in the Indian Trade Marks Journal for a three month period. If there is no objection found, the service mark receives approval for final registration. However, the Trade Marks Registrar could object to the application, if it finds any grounds for refusal under Section 9 or 11 of the Act to which it expects a reply and upon satisfaction of the reply and evidence, the service mark might get approval for registration. Third parties having similar or identical service marks and or similar or identical classes of services shall raise objections after the service mark is published in the Trade Mark Journal within four months from such advertisement. The Registrar serves such a copy of notice to the applicant for reply within two months from receipt of copy of notice of opposition. Evidence shall also be filed by each party within the prescribed time allotted by the Registrar. 

How Service Mark Works

A Trademark identifies the source of goods, while a service mark designates the provider of a service. Despite the distinction, the term “trademark” is commonly used to describe both forms of intellectual property.

A “service” is something intangible provided for the benefit of another party. For instance, a major carpet cleaning company would likely use a service mark in its marketing efforts because it performs an activity rather than offering a physical product.

When federally registered, a service mark carries the standard registration symbol ®. “Reg U.S. Pat & TM Off” can also be used. Prior to registration, it is common practice (including legal standing) to use the service mark symbol ℠ (which is the common superscript SM).

Benefits of a Service Mark

There is a multitude of benefits of a service mark. These include the protection of your intellectual property, preventing other businesses from stealing your idea or product. This identifies it as an item that is not in the public domain and, therefore, subject to legal action if any aspect of the law pertaining to the mark is violated. If anyone does Infringe on your idea, you are entitled to monetary damages.


In India marks were not registered for services under the Trade Marks and Merchandise Act 1958. It was only after the repeal of the Trade Marks and Merchandise Act and enforcement of the Trade Marks Act 1999 that marks were registered for services under the Nice Classification of Goods and Services, for classes 35 to 45. A service mark, unlike a trade mark, is used for advertisements of the services provided by the body corporate whereas, a trademark is applied on packaging and products. A body corporate can have both a trademark and service mark for its business. An unregistered service mark and an application under registration, may use the symbol ‘SM’ while a registered service mark shall use the ® – the registered symbol. The procedure for registration of a service mark is similar to the registration process of the trademark in India as well as in the United States of America. Service marks can also be registered as sound marks such as MGM’s lion roar. Otherwise, there is not much literature available, independently for service marks since a service mark legally is a subcategory of a trademark. 

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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