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Definition of Trademark


Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

Under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 of India, a trademark is defined as a mark able to be exhibited clearly and which may identify the products or services of one person from those of others. This meaning covers a broad spectrum of symbols: words, names, themes, sounds, fragrances, forms, packaging, and even a combination of colors.

A trademark mostly serves as a source identification tool, thus enabling consumers to differentiate one company’s products or services from those of its rivals. A trademark provides a distinctive and acknowledged symbol that helps to create brand recall, loyalty, and compassion. It also lets companies guard their expenditures in producing and marketing their products or services. A trademark is essentially a practical instrument for business that may significantly increase the marketability of a firm.

Types of Trademarks

Word Marks:

Word marks protect words, letters, or numerals regardless of their specific visual image, giving exclusive rights to the brand owner to use that particular word, letter, or numeral in connection with their goods or services.

Device Marks

Device marks protect the unique visual representation of a word, letter, or number, focusing on the specific pictorial rendering, including font, style, color, and additional elements that make the representation distinctive. They help create a strong, remembered brand personality that can be easily recognized by customers and prevent rivals from using a confusingly similar visual image.

Service Marks

Service marks serve a similar purpose to logos but are specifically used to identify and distinguish services rather than physical goods. They help customers identify the source of a particular service, such as a restaurant, hotel, or professional service and can include words, sentences, images, or drawings. Service marks can be registered to provide legal security and exclusive rights to their use.

Collective Marks

Collective marks are used by a group of companies or organizations to show a shared trait or quality of their goods or services. These marks reflect a combined identity rather than a single company’s trademark and can signify shared quality standards, regional origin, or other unifying traits among the group’s goods.

Certification Marks

Certification signs show that a product meets certain set standards, as confirmed by an independent body. These marks are used to certify the traits, quality, or location of goods or services. Certification marks are owned by the certification body, not the maker of the goods or the user of the services. They provide customers with confidence that the approved product meets specific standards.

Well-Known Marks

Well-known marks are trademarks that are widely recognized by the relevant public and enjoy greater legal protection. These marks have achieved a high degree of individuality and recognition, often through widespread use and promotion. Well-known names are given wider protection against dilution and abuse, even in the absence of a possibility of mistake. They are a useful tool for businesses with a strong world footprint and brand recognition.

Unconventional Trademarks

Unconventional logos are those that get attention for their naturally unique features, beyond just words or symbols. These can include non-traditional factors like sounds, smells, textures, or even the shape of a product. Unconventional trademarks harness unique sense qualities to create a strong, remembered brand personality that can be legally protected.

Trademark Registration

Trademark filing is the process by which brand owners can gain exclusive legal rights to their names. By filing a trademark, companies can better protect their brand name and prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark. Registered logos enjoy improved legal defenses and make it easier to defend rights against theft.

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Trademark Registration in Chennai


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