Service Mark Registration in India

In India, the Trademarks Act, 1999, does not separately recognise Service Marks. However, theoretically speaking, service marks are a type of trademark that indicates the source of origin of a service in the national and international markets.

What are Service Marks?

In countries like the USA, there is a specific distinction given to Service Marks, indicated with the SM symbol, to only identify services.

Treatment in India 

In India, trademarks for a service-providing business or institution is also depicted by the TM symbol which is later changed to the ® symbol when the mark registration is complete.

Summing-up Service Marks 

Therefore, service marks are any trademarks that have been registered under the Trademark Classes 35 to 45, with the purpose of acting as a source identifier of the service provider. The procedure for service mark registration in India is the same as any other product trademark registration; there is no separate registration form or classification for registering service marks in India.

What are Trademarks?

Trademark registration helps secure the important brand assets of the company, which helps create the identity of the brand.

Meaning and purpose of Trademarks 

A trademark is any word, device, symbol, colour, shape, number or a combination thereof, which is used to distinguish goods or services or one entity from those of the other.

For instance, the logo of Pepsi helps distinguish the product from those of Coke.

Similarities between Trademarks and Service Marks

For theoretical purposes, service marks can be called a type of trademark. For instance, all service marks are trademarks, but not all trademarks are service marks.  


Whether they are service marks or otherwise, is to fortify and protect the identity of the sources of the products and services of an individual or business, helping them forge a unique identity in the market that is separate from their competitors.



Trademarks and service marks have the same procedure for registration, and the registered trademark will be used like any other intellectual property. That means anyone other than the registered owner will not be allowed to use the mark without permission or license.

Classification for Registration of Service Marks

The mark that you want to register to represent your services should be unique, distinctive, and should not have been registered before. That is why it is always advisable to conduct a trademark search to avoid objections and oppositions to the trademark application.

NICE Classification

India follows the NICE Classification of goods and services for trademarks registration. According to which there are 11 specific classes of marks that relate to service. Most popular international treaties, conventions and agreements such as the Berne Convention, Madrid Protocol or TRIPS Agreement follow the latest edition of the NICE classification.

Here is a look at the 11 classes of trademarks that relate to services.

Class 35

  • Advertising and Marketing services
  • business management, including business administration
  • Office functions like human resources, etc.  

Class 36

  • Insurance services
  • Maintenance of financial and monetary affairs
  • Real Estate

Class 37

  • Construction of Building construction
  • Repair and installation

Class 38

  • Telecommunications

Class 39

  • Transportation
  • Packaging
  • Storage facilities
  • Travel services

Class 40

  • Treatment of materials.

Class 41

  • Education
  • Training
  • Entertainment
  • Sporting
  • Cultural activities.

Class 42

  • Scientific, research and technological services
  • Industrial analysis
  • design and development of computer hardware and software

Class 43

  • Services for providing food and drink
  • Temporary accommodation

Class 44

  • Medical
  • Veterinary
  • Hygienic and beauty care for both human beings and animals
  • Agriculture, landscaping, horticulture services

Class 45

  • Legal services
  • Security services for the protection of property and individuals
  • Personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.


There is no separate procedure for registering and maintaining service trademarks, they are treated and protected like any other product trademark. Service-based trademarks are registered under classes 35 to 45.

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