Trademark gives a legal monopoly to companies and individuals over their unique brands, identities and innovations. In a competitive world, it becomes a necessity not only to protect your brand or innovation from imitation but also from similar ideas. In India, Trademark is registered under the Trademark Act, 1999.
This blog will help you understand the different types of trademark options available to companies and individuals. To begin with, Trademark may prominently divide into 2 types: Conventional and Non-conventional, and then there may further classification which we will explain here. It’s advisable for every innovator and company to go for online Trademark registration to safeguard the uniqueness of whatever they’ve built.
Types of Trademark: Type 01 – Conventional Trademark
Generic Marks: There are a lot of generic words used in daily life such as food, clothes, and shoes. One cannot apply for trademark online for these generic everyday words. For example, ‘Clothes Company’ cannot be the name of any business entity. A unique addition or modification is required to make it stand apart.
Suggestive Marks: Suggestive marks give a hint of what the brand is about in an indirect but decipherable manner. In these cases, it is upon the customers too to figure out the exact offering of the brand. For eg. Netflix doesn’t clearly specify that it is an online streaming platform and yet, the customers use their imagination to give the brand a recognizable identity.
Descriptive Marks: These describe the goods and services to which they may apply. It talks about the characteristics and the descriptive elements like quality, quantity, kind etc. For eg. Cold and cream may use for ice cream. Hence, these may also not qualify under the trademark protection just like generic words. A significant quality may need to qualify for trademark protection.
Company trademark registration in India can also be done with words or phrases from the vernacular language where there is no relation with the product and service of the business. For eg. Apple brand is an arbitrary mark for its audience. This is just a name of fruit, but it has now become a luxury brand for electronic products.
Fanciful Marks: Fanciful mark is easy to register as it requires a creative thought behind it. These marks easily qualify for trademark protection. It needs to carefully examine from the consumer’s point of view to make it understood by laymen. Most of the brands go for fanciful marks so that they can leave a positive impact on the audience. For example, Pepsi, Xerox.
These abovementioned types of trademark have many successful cases of brands making it big by playing it smart and building a strong loyal customer base. You need to decide the route you wish to take that will best represent your brand’s identity.
Types of Trademark: Type 02 – Non-conventional Trademark
Service Marks: A service mark can be a logo, brand name, word, phrase, design, symbol or a combination of these elements that identify the provider of the service. It provides protection to a company or individual providing a particular or a set of services that provide something intangible to the customers. Mostly, they may choose by large business chains. For example, American Airlines.
Collective Marks: Collective marks may own by a group, institution, organization or association. It may use to inform the public about the source of the goods/ services and the particular association that has the right to use that mark. For example, CAs are members of the Institute of Charted Accountants and CPAs are members of the Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Certification Marks: Certification marks are used with the adherence to local regulations. This mark guarantees that it meets safety in terms of quality, material and genuineness. Certification mark indicates that the brand or business follows the standard test to meet the market standards. For Example, ISO Certified, ISI mark.
It includes a graphical representation of the shape and packaging of goods. It sets the goods apart from other manufacturers, thereby being one of the most interesting types of trademark. For example, shapes like the hexagonal, three-dimensional shape of a product can trademark in a perfume bottle or cream box. Basically, any shape can be a trademark that has a distinct feature from other manufacturers.
Product Marks: Product marks refer to trademarks that are only related to goods but not services. This mark serves the purpose of origin and also differentiates the product from other manufacturers. The trademark of the product mark protects the goodwill of the business. For example Amul and Nestle brands.
Pattern Marks: Pattern marks are mostly popular in the fashion industry as a means to protect a particular unique design. However, it is difficult to make it understandable and recognizable by the customers. Hence, it does not easily qualify for trademark protection. The best example is Louis Vuitton; a fashion brand.
Sound Marks: Sound marks are unique sounds that can be registered as an identity of a particular brand. For example, in every TV commercial, McDonald’s has a sound that is trademarked.
Trade Names: It doesn’t differentiate any one product or service. Trade names may use to identify a company as a whole. This is common trademark registration for multinational corporations that hold many brands under the trade name. For example, Urban Company is a trading name for Urban Clap Company.
Protecting unique identity of your company or innovation is always a good idea. The Trade Marks Act, 1999 provides ample opportunities to everyone to choose the right type of protection. Experts at LegalWiz.in have helped several innovators and companies safeguard their unique products, services and other offerings. Now that you have a better clarity of the types of trademark, you can also get a better understanding of trademark and its registration process in India before you connect with the experts.