Trademark law protects your intellectual's properties and business identities
Trademark law protects your individual property in several aspects such as shape, device, colours, logo and even your sound. While trademark for any aspects, the authority assigned a unique mark acts as a source identifier and differentiates products or services from others. No one is authorized to use your mark without your permission. Use mark without owner permission is a strictly prohibited and punishable offence.
In simple words, trademark law provides authority to protect your business by accessing others and also distinguish from your competitors. Trademark ownership is assigned on a first to use basis.
Trademark registration lies under the Trademark act, 1999, one of the widely used intellectual property rights for business.
Once the trademark is registered for any aspects, it provides the right to use the mark for their business purpose and protect the mark from being accessible by others.
For example, Yahoo has registered their trademark for logo, name yahoo and sound as well. As per the IP India report, the Trademark application has been increased by 40% in the past several years, indicating people are more concerned about protecting their assets.
If you are a small business owner or looking to register the trademark, follow this guide.
What can be protected under trademark?
Trademark law protects the proprietor's rights to use the mark for the goods and services as per section 28(1) trademark act. It also helps to provide relief in case of trademark infringement.
So, let us focus on the list of trademarks that can be protected under the trademark act.
Word Marks is the business or company-related unique text used for the company's branding or marketing purpose. Once word mark is registered successfully, proprietary can use that mark in any style or format because stylish presentation does not come under the trademark; only text can be protected. For example, Tata Motors and Air Vistara are the registered trademarks, and the owner can use them in any style. Still, no one can use these particular words for the business and doing so is a punishable offence.
One can register their printed design, character or image under the device marks trademark protection. You can not include any numerals, words or letters. It is usually a logo for products and services. For example, the Nike Swoosh symbol is registered under the device marks.
Products Marks is used to protecting any particular product of the company under the trademark act. For example, Burger King is one of the prominent companies in burger making, and they have registered their two best-selling products, which operate burgers and flame-grilled products.
There is no big difference between service marks and trademarks, and it sounds so confusing among most of the proprietary. In India, so many different classes are registered under the service marks, which specify the type and category of the registered service mark. While in other countries like the USA, the 'SM' symbol is used to denote the service, while 'TM' is used in India to denote the service marks.
Collective marks are used by the organization and other huge association members to identify with the quality and other attributes that they set. For example 'CA' logo is only used by the Institute of charted accountants.
Certification marks are used to define the standards of goods and services for any particular business. They specify that the product manufacturer has achieved the set standards of quality through regular audits. It differentiates the company from other competitors companies in the market. For example, Agmark certification is used for agriculture products in India.
Shape, packaging trademarks, moving logo, colour combination, taste marks and other smell marks reside under the unconventional trademarks. Sound marks and other 3D marks are quite easy to register in India as per the Trademark rule 2017.
So let us focus on some unconventional trademarks
Any shape is the visual characteristic of the product to distinguish it from others. Any shape of the product is registered under trademark only if it has a distinguished shape and does not act as its functional element. For example, Coca Cola has registered its bottle shape, which specifies its identity and distinguishes
Sound must be related to the products for registering sound marks, and it is denoted graphically as notation. The logo contains words, sounds and other musical notes.
For example, ICICI has registered sound for the corporate jingle.
As we know that, colour combinations can differentiate the products or services. So it is quite easy to register under the trademark, and trademark law protects such registration. At the same time, it isn't easy to register any particular colour under trademark registration.
For example, Colgate has trademarked their product colour combination, which is the combination of red and while.
Any product is contained in the distinctive package can be registered under trademark. For example, Dairy Milk has registered its packaging design to make it distinguish from others.
Hope you understand more about the types of Trademark, if you need more clarification contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org