While filing the trademark application in TM-A (Earlier the name of the form was TM-1), the prescribed form for filing a trademark application in India, the applicant has to choose, category of trademark, which can be only from below options

  1. Word
  2. Device
  3. Colour
  4. Shape of Goods
  5. Sound Mark
  6. Three Dimensional

The purpose of this post is to explain and illustrate the meaning of the above categories.

WORD: A word or other groupings of letters/ alphabets is the most common type of mark. Examples include APPLE, GOOGLE, INFOSYS, TATA, IBM .etc. It is not necessary to have a meaning the word.

DEVICE: Device marks are in general referred to the marks like Logo, Pictures of Drawings, A combination of Pictures and Words or Drawings,  etc. Below is a pictorial presentation on various kinds of device marks.

Logo Trademark RegistrationTrademark of Pictures and Drawings

punchline trademarkCOLOUR: The particular colour or combination of colour is recognised as a trademark if it is established that the color (s) function as a uniquely identifying mark to identify the origin of goods or services. In recent times there is a growing trend of adopting colors or a combination of them as a trademark in the marketplace. However, it probably the toughest category of a trademark to be protected and enforced. The word trade organisation has broadened the legal definition of a trademark to encompass “any sign…capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.”

SHAPE OF GOODS: The shape of a product or the shape of a container may serve a function of identifying to the origin of goods. The shape of a container may also be another form of intellectual property as design. The trademark refers to the origin of the goods, whereas the design protection shall refer to the inherent features of the shape. However, if the shape is such which have acquired distinctiveness through its widespread usage, then the same can be registered as a trademark. A perfect example to understand this is the Coca-Cola Bottle.

trademark of shape of goods

SOUND: Sound marks are a non-conventional trademark and are possible to be registered in India, provided the sound functions as an identifier for the origin of goods or services. The important ingredient is the presence of factual distinctiveness in the sound which is capable of creating an immediate recall value for the product or services. Some of the registered sound marks in India are:

  1. Yahoo -(Human voice yodelling Yahoo)
  2. National Stock Exchange – (Theme song)
  3. ICICI Bank – (Corporate jingle – Dhin Chik Dhin Chik)
  4. Britannia Industries (Four note bell sound)
  5. Cisco – (Tune heard on logging in to the conferencing service Web Ex)
  6. Edgar Rice Burroughs – (Tarzan Yell by its toy action figure)
  7. Nokia – (Guitar notes on switching on the device)

THREE DIMENSIONAL: Three-dimensional symbols can be registered as a trademark in India based on strict standards on the inherent distinctiveness of trademarks and its capability to distinctly identify the origin of goods and services. The three-dimensional trademarks (3D trademarks) are usually presented as the physical appearance of the product or substantial packaging in three-dimensional images. The examples of 3D Trademark is as under

3D Trademark