A Trademark is a visual symbol in the form of a word, numbers, device or a label, which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination thereof.
Trademark is a product of competitive trade practices. Every trader seeks to sell his product by its name and distinctiveness. The changing business practices have also changed the concept and philosophy of Trademark. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the different types of Trademark. The different types of Trademarks are classified under two heads-
- CONVENTIONAL TRADEMARK
- NON CONVENTIONAL TRADEMARK
Conventional Trademarks are marks represented by words, letters, numerals or pictures.
It includes following types of Trademarks-
1. PRODUCT MARK
A Trademark, is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. It is a product mark attached to goods for the purpose of indicating their origin. It also represents the distinctiveness and goodwill of a business from that of others.
EXAMPLE- Colgate, Lux, Nike and others.
2. SERVICE MARK
Service means service of any description, which is made available to potential consumers, in connection with business of any industrial or commercial matters such as banking, communication, education, financing, insurance, chit funds, real estate, transport, storage, material treatment, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, boarding, lodging, entertainment, amusement, construction, repair, conveying of news or information or advertising. A service mark is a brand name or logo that identifies the provider of a service. A service mark may consist of a word, phrase, symbol, design or some combination of these elements.
EXAMPLE– Logos of SBI, ICICI, LIC, Hotels and other service provider industries.
3. COLLECTIVE MARK
A collective mark means a Trademark distinguishing the goods or services of the members of an association of persons not being a partnership firm, used by its members to identify themselves with a level of quality or accuracy, geographical origin, or other characteristics set by the organization. Whereas the trade mark belongs to an individual but a collective mark belongs to an association of persons, other than partnership firm.
EXAMPLE- BAJAJ, GODREJ, the mark “CA”, used to indicate members of Certified Chartered Accountants and others.
4. CERTIFICATION MARK
Certification mark means a mark used in the course of trade, which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy. Basically, a certification mark on a commercial product indicates the existence of an accepted product standard or regulation and a claim that the manufacturer has verified compliance with those standards or regulations.
EXAMPLE– FASSAI for Food safety, Agmark for food items, Hallmark for Jewellery and others.
NON CONVENTIONAL TRADEMARK
A non-conventional Trademark, also known as a non-traditional Trademark, is any new type of Trademark which does not belong to a pre-existing, conventional category of trade mark, and which is often difficult to register, but which may nevertheless fulfil the essential Trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of products or services.
The term is broadly inclusive as it encompasses marks which do not fall into the conventional set of marks (e.g. those consisting of letters, numerals, words, logos, pictures, symbols, or combinations of one or more of these elements), and therefore includes marks based on appearance, shape, sound, smell, taste and texture.
It includes following types of Trademarks-
A unique and distinctive Trademark with catchy colours which can be easily distinguished by consumers. However, in practice, a combination of colours stands a better chance of registration, provided that it is capable of distinguishing the goods of one trader from those of another.
2. SOUND MARK
The function of a sound Trademark is to uniquely identify the commercial origin of products/ services by means of an audio clip. In general, applications in the form of musical notations describing the sound meet these requirements like musical notes, whereas onomatopoeic descriptions do not like noise of a dog barking.
3. SHAPE MARK
In order for protection to be approved, the shape must be significantly different from what is common in the market. For example, when a product has a common three dimensional shape, one can recognise it as a bottle. But there are certain cases where shape cannot be used as a Trademark.
- Shape resulting from nature of goods itself.
- Shape necessary to obtain a technical result.
- Shape which gives substantial value to goods.
4. PATTERN MARK
These are the marks consisting of a pattern which is capable of identifying the goods or services of one and thus distinguishing it from those of other. Such goods/services are registrable as Pattern Marks. The pattern of such brand is distinguishable from the product of other brands.