In this article, today I will discuss the different types of trademarks as it is a very vast and significant topic. The article focuses on the basics and technicality of the topic. Many of us in day-to-day life buy goods according to the brands and marks printed on them, Like Puma, Adidas, etc. in shoes & Mercedes, Audi, etc. in cars. What these marks stand for and what these marks indicate let’s get to know about this with the help of this article.
A “Trademark” is defined under Section 2(1)(zb) of the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 as a “mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include a shape of goods, their packaging, and combination of colors.”
Simply put, a trademark may include a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, shape of goods, packaging, or combination of colors or any such combinations. (Section 2(m)). The only qualification for a trademark is its capacity to diffrenciate the goods or services of one person from that of another.
A trademark may be divided into the following categories and types:
- Service Mark:
A service mark is any symbol name, sign, device, or word which is intentionally used in trade to recognize and differentiate the services of one provider from others. Service marks do not cover material goods but only the allocation of services. Service marks are used in day-to-day services Like Sponsorship, Hotel services, Entertainment services, Speed reading instruction, Management and investment, Housing development services, etc.
A service mark is expected to play a critical role in promoting and selling a product or service. A product is indicated by its service mark, and that product’s service mark is also known as a trademark.
- Collective Mark:
These trademarks are used by a group of companies and are also protected by the group collectively. Collective marks are normally used to inform the public about a particular characteristic of the product for which the collective mark is used. The owner of such marks is normally an association or public institution or it may cooperate. Collective marks are also used to promote particular products which have certain characteristics specific to the producer in a given field. Thus, a collective trademark can use by more than one trader, provided that the trader belongs to that particular association.
The trader associated with a particular collective mark has a responsibility of ensuring compliance with certain standards fixed by its members. Thus, the purpose of the collective mark is to inform the public about certain features of the product for which the collective mark is used. One example of the collective mark – the mark “CPA”, which is used to indicate members of the Society of Certified Public Accountants.
- Certification Marks:
Certification marks are used to define standards. They assure the consumers that the product meets certain prescribed standards. The presence of a certification mark on a product indicates that the product has successfully gone through a standard test as specified. Certification marks indicate the authenticity and quality of the product. It assures the consumer that the manufacturers have gone through an audit process to ensure the quality of the product. For example, Electrical goods, toys & machines, etc. have such marking that indicates the safety, authenticity, and quality of the product.
- Unconventional Trademarks:
Unconventional trademarks are those trademarks that get known for their inherently exclusive feature.
Unconventional trademarks include the following categories:
- Colour Trademark: If a particular colour has become an exclusive feature specify the goods of a particular trader it can be registered as a trademark. For example, Red Wine.
- Sound Marks: Signs which are recognized by listening or hearing and which is identifiable by their unique and exclusive sound can be registered as sound marks. For example, Musical notes.
- Shape Marks: When the shape of goods, packaging has some exclusive feature it can be registered. For example, Ornamental Lamps.
- Smell Marks: When the smell is unique and cannot be fallacious for an linked product it can be registered as a smell mark. For example, Itra, perfumes .
Therefore, The trademark is Intellectual Property. When you trademark a name, brand, or logo. you can establish an exclusive right of ownership over the same. By trademark registration in India, you become the owner of that name, brand, or logo. The Trademarks Act, 1999, allows the registration of various types of trademarks such as word marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, series marks logos/symbols, and many others.
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