Trademark is a combination of numerals and characters used by any organisation to claim the ownership of its name or design. It helps secure their services or products. Today the owners are aware of the importance of trademarking their company name and services. There are many kinds of trademarks, but the purpose of these trademarks remains the same – to help customers identify the products or services of a respective brand.
In this article, we will discuss the different types of trademarks and what they stand for.
Different Types of Trademark
This trademark is used for goods or products but not for services. It helps identify the source/origin of the product and protects the reputation of the business. Applications filed under the trademark class 1-34 are termed product marks.
This type of trademark protects the company that provides services. This service mark differentiates the services provided by one company from another. For example, Indigo Airlines, Air Asia, etc., are in a similar industry but vary in their services.
Unlike products, the service mark requires much time to process and needs more evidence. However, it is not mandatory to register a service mark as the court also accepts the common-law service marks in case of any legal issues.
Association members or an organisation uses the collective mark to distinguish their services or products from other members in the industry. For example, Red Cross’s mark separates it from other organisations. Similarly, CA is a standard mark that can be used only by certified members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
The certification mark defines the quality of standards maintained by a company. It indicates that the company is duly certified and is proven to adhere to the quality of standards and specific policies.
It uplifts the product’s standard as the certification mark shows the customers that the product has undergone several quality checks and is then approved by the law. Some common examples of certification marks are ISI marks, Hallmark, and FSSAI.
As per the Trademark Act 1999, the shape mark defines the shape of the goods, preventing other companies from copying it. The shape mark trademark is approved when the product’s shape is considered noteworthy. For example, You can quickly identify toblerone chocolate with the shape of a mountain. You can identify Coco-Cola’s brand based on the shape of the bottle.
The Pattern mark is usually used in the Fashion industry. It protects the way a specific design is created. For example, the Louis Vuitton brand has a unique pattern that anyone else cannot copy.
Like the graphic presentation, even the sounds have their trademark. If people associate a brand with a sound, then you should trademark the sound. For example, the tune of Airtel is unique and readily identifiable by people.
However, there are certain exceptions for the sound mark. The following sounds cannot be trademarked under the sound mark:
- Pieces of music that contains only 1 or 2 notes.
- Rhymes of Children.
- Music that is famous in a particular region.
- Any popular music.
Before registering the trademark, the business owner needs to know the rights granted under each trademark. If the trademark is rightly registered, the owner can also monetise it. It also protects the owner from the other competitors in the market. The company’s owner can legally penalise anyone who infringes the trademark.