We automatically picture the brand name and its provider when we think of a product.
Even the iconic jingles, logos, and color combinations of the product’s packaging are remembered.
The trademark refers to the signs, symbols, logos, and jingles that give a product its identity.
A trademark is a type of intellectual property that has grown in importance.
Today’s product owners and manufacturers are well aware of the value of a trademark and the rights that come with trademark registration.
In India, there are various trademarks that a trademark owner can register to obtain legal privileges and protection.
In this article, Mr. Krutarth, who provides a leading trademark registration service from Ahmedabad, discusses the basics of trademarks, the different types of trademarks, and the importance of the different types of trademarks.
What is a trademark?
According to Section 2(ZB) of the Trademark Act of 1999, a trademark is a graphical representation capable of distinguishing goods and services owned by one person from those held by others in the market. It includes:
- The shape of goods
- Color combinations
It is a mark that effectively aids in identifying a product by distinguishing it from other products and services in the same category.
When there is competition in the market, it aids in identifying the product.
Because the primary purpose is to distinguish itself from other brands in the same class of goods and services, a distinctive mark is the best type of trademark.
A trademark gives protection for:
- A symbol
- Combination of all of them
It gives a product representing a source of goods or services a name.
A trademark has several advantages, including ease of marketing, creating a distinct identity, and serving as a source identifier.
In India, trademarks are protected by the Trademark Act of 1999 and common law.
It is not necessary to register your trademark under the Trademark Act.
However, once registered, a trademark gives its owner legal privileges and protection for ten years, and this period can be extended if the trademark is renewed.
Different types of trademarks
Product marks are trademark applications filed under class 1-34 of the Fourth Schedule To The Trade Marks Rules, 2002.
The product mark identifies the following items:
- The provider
- The reputation
- The product’s origin
It’s a trademark for products or merchandise, but not for services.
It’s similar to a product mark, but it’s used to distinguish a service rather than a product.
Underclass 35-45, trademark applications are filed. The Fourth Schedule defines a service mark to the Trade Marks Rules, 2002.
A trademark is typically filed as a wordmark or a device mark.
According to Mr. Krutarth, who provides a top trademark registration service from Ahmedabad, A word or text denotes a trademark without any stylization or other artistic elements in a wordmark.
Because it allows the owner to use the wordmark in all styles, forms, and representations, this registration type provides legal protection for a trademark.
LITTLE HEARTS and COCA-COLA are two examples of registered work marks.
A device mark usually includes an artistic component, such as:
- A creative or pictorial depiction
- Wordmark element
It usually consists of a wordmark and several artistic elements.
These elements can be a mix of non-trademarkable and trademarkable features in a device mark.
The composite mark, but not the individual elements, is protected under such a mark.
Surprisingly, a device mark’s protection is limited to the color combination in which it is registered when registered in color.
A registered device mark that is black and white, on the other hand, provides broader protection because the owner can claim color protection for such a device registration.
The owner typically uses these marks to certify:
- The origin
- Other characteristics of goods or services to which they are applied.
- Mode of manufacture or performance of services
Other features of the products or services to which they are applied.
The ISI mark, issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), and AGMARK, published by the Director of Marketing and Inspection of the Government of India, are two examples of certified marks.
This trademark is distinct from the others we’ve looked at so far.
A membership organization or association typically uses this mark to distinguish its members’ goods or services from non-members.
The CA mark, which can only be used by registered members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, is an example of this type of trademark.
When an owner owns many trademarks for identical or similar goods, all of which appear to have a material resemblance to one another but differ in non-distinctive character, the trademarks may be registered as series trademarks.
The trademarks listed above are those that are commonly registered. Let’s take a look at some of the more unusual trademarks.
Because the word’s combination of colors is included in the Trademark Act of 1999’s definition of a trademark, they are protected as a trademark.
To register as a color mark and identify the product and its source, however, such a combination of colors must be uniquely distinctive.
It will not be typical to use a simple combination of red and yellow to indicate orange.
To be registered under this type of trademark, the color must be extraordinarily distinct and recognizable by its customers.
Graphical representation is required for trademark registration, which is valid for sound marks.
To be registered as a trademark, a sound must be in a form that makes the consumer distinctive and identifiable.
According to the TM Manual, certain sounds are expressly prohibited from registering as sound marks. The following are the details:
- Songs used as chimes
- Simple pieces of music consisting of 1 or 2 notes
- Nursery rhymes of children
- Music that is strongly associated with a particular region
- Popular music
The term shapes of goods’ are used in the Trademark Act of 1999’s definition of a trademark. Shape marks are thus protected under the Trademark Act of 1999.
However, Section 9(3) of the Act imposes a restriction, explicitly prohibiting the registration of a trademark consisting solely of:
- Shapes that are a result of the goods’ inherent characteristics
- Shapes are required to achieve a technical effect.
- Profiles that add significant value to the product
Furthermore, such an application should be made about the goods, not the container of the goods.
Only a few trademarks of this type have been granted international registration.
In India, however, a mark must be graphically represented to qualify as a trademark.
The public should be able to recognize and identify such a representation. Furthermore, a functional odor is not eligible for registration.
Aside from that, a smell that is either functional or descriptive is not allowed to be registered.
A perfume with added nail polish remover to mask the chemical odor, for example, can be considered a functional smell.
A scent that is the natural result of combining the ingredients cannot be trademarked.
A trademark application of this type can be registered if it passes these tests and proves its distinctiveness.
Importance of types of trademarks
It is critical to understand each type of trademark before filing a trademark application.
According to Mr. Krutarth, who provides an excellent trademark registration service from Ahmedabad, a trademark should not be generic; it must be distinct and unique to be protected under the Trademark Act of 1999.
If your trademark appears to be too similar to others already on the market, you may want to consider changing it so that it qualifies for registration.
A trademark’s distinctiveness is critical because it gives the product its identity.
There was a lot of ambiguity and confusion in the market before trademark laws were regulated.
Because the public could not immediately identify the provider of the goods or services, gaining brand loyalty was difficult.
Before registering a trademark, it is critical to understand the owner’s level of protection.
This is because each one has its own set of elements and requirements.
A trademark is a valuable tool that a business owner can employ to monetize their brand and product.
A trademark also serves as a shield, protecting the registered trademark owner’s rights from other market competitors.
Finally, a trademark can be used as a weapon by the owner, who can use the rights granted to him to sue those who infringe on his trademark.
As a result, one must give it the utmost attention before registering a trademark.