Trademarks In 2022: Everything You Should Know


Trademarks are the most important brand assets that helping a brand to stand out in the crowd. The importance of trademarks is at an all-time high due to the numerous functions of trademarks in IPR and advertising. In this blog, we will discuss the key functions of trademark.

What Is A Trademark?

As stated by WIPO, “A trademark is a symbol that may be used to separate the products or services of one company from those of other companies. Intellectual property rights under The Trademark Laws provide protection for registered trademarks in India.

You can prevent others from using your brand to sell goods or services by using your trademark rights. These rights also safeguard consumers since they enable them to identify the origin of the products or services they are purchasing.

What Can Be Trademarked?

  1. Words
  2. Product Names & Nicknames
  3. Phrases
  4. Logos
  5. Shape

Some examples of shape trademarks are:

  • Zippo lighter: Registered in 1998 in India as a shape mark.
  • TOBLERONE: Registered in 1996 as a shape mark. The trademark has a distinctive color scheme of white, yellow, red, blue and black colors on the branding.
  • Coca Cola: Contour glass bottle with fluting
  • LEGO: BRICKS

6. Smell

Here are a few smell trademark examples:

Country NameTrademark Registration AuthorityNumber of Registered Scent MarksName of Registered Scent Marks
AustraliaIP Australia1Eucalyptus-scented golf tee (1990)
United KingdomIntellectual property office2Dart feathers with a fragrance like bitter beer (1994) A floral smell of roses as applied to tyres used for road vehicles (1994)
USAUnited States Patent & Trademarks Office10Flowery musk scent (Verizon stores) Bubble gum scent for sandals Piña colada scent to coat ukuleles The coconut smell that fills flip flop stores Rose-scented marketing products (to an individual, not a company) Minty” pain-relief patches Strawberry toothbrushes Strawberry, cherry, and grape lubricants for combustion engines. 
Smell Trademark Examples

7. Colors or unique color schemes/combinations

Trademark ColorBrand
BrownUPS
Green-Gold                  Quality
Carolina Blue       University of North Carolina
Magenta               T-Mobile
Red Soles           Christian Louboutin  
Red  Coca Cola
Bismol PinkPepto
PurpleCadbury
Caterpillar YellowCaterpillar Inc.  
Purple3M
Green & Yellow Color SchemeJohn Deere
Burnt Orange    University of Texas
Tiffany BlueTiffany & Co.
OrangeHome Depot
Red         Target
Color Trademark Examples

8. Motion Trademarks

  • Yahoo’s Yodel
  • Lamborghini’s car door motion
  • Nokia’s open screen display with a handshake
  • Sony Mobile’s motion trademark with a flowing orange ribbon moving as a fluid
  • Microsoft Windows motion trademark logo
  • Toshiba’s motion trademark
  • Sony’s “Make Believe” motion trademark logo

9. Sound

Here is a list of famous sound marks that are registered:

  • Audi’s heart-beat sound logo.
  • Federal Signal Q2B Siren
  • The NBC Chimes
  • Intel Inside Bong
  • Mcdonalds’ “i’m lovin’it”
  • Britannia (four-note bell sound)
  • Airtel ringtone
  • Lucasfilms THX Deep Note
  • AAMCO Transmission – automobile repair – “Double A – TOOT TOOT – M C O”
  • TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX – entertainment – cat’s meow
  • ESPN – entertainment – sports programming – six musical notes
  • Nokia and Samsung (switching on device sound)
  • Mister Softee – ice cream trucks – musical jingle
  • SPANISH COAST TO COAST – radio – music + “RADIO VARIEDADES”
  • Yahoo (human voice saying hello)
  • TC Entertainment -entertainment – a musical phrase
  • MGM – Entertainment – Roaring Lion
  • Al Ham Productions – Entertainment – The Dreams We Share, We’ll Always Remember, Remember With The Music Of Your Life “
  • America Online – online multi-user computer sound mark “You’ve got mail”
  • Beneficial – Insurance -” At Beneficial TOOT TOOT You’re Good for More…”
  • Device
  • Android symbol
  • Apple logo
  • Puma
  • McDonald’s
  • Slogans
  • Nike’s Just Do It
  • McDonald’s I’m Lovin It”
  • Business names

Complete Guide To Sound Trademarks

What Can’t Be Trademarked?

The Trademarks Act of 1999 lists the absolute and related reasons for rejection of trademark registration in sections 9 and 11. There are 4 sections altogether that discuss forbidden trademarks in India:

Sections 9, 11, 13 and 14

Know absolute & relative grounds of refusal of trademark registration here

Prohibited Trademarks In India

  1. Word “UNITED NATIONS”, letters “UNO” & the official Seal and Emblem of UNO.
  2. The device of an arrow on the ground that is the property of the Government of India.
  3. Letters “N.C.L.”.
  4. Letters “I.S.I.” if applied by any person or body other than the Indian Standards Institution.
  5. Letters “I.C.S.”,
  6.  Letters “N.P.L.”
  7.  Words “ASHOK CHAKRA” and “DHARMA CHAKRA”
  8. The device of Asoka Chakra
  9. The British Royal Arms, The British Crown and the Union jack
  10. Letters “I.S.O.” not to be used by any person or organization other than the Indian Standards Institution.
  11. Lord Buddha or the device of Lord Buddha.
  12. Shree Sai Baba” or the device of Shree Sai Baba.
  13. Words “Sri Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda, the Holy Mother alias Sri Sarada Devi or the relative devices.
  14. The Emblems of the Ramkrishna Math and Ramkrishna Mission
  15. Words “National”, and “Panchsheel”
  16. Common names for pesticides:-
  17. Letters “IR”
  18. Names and pictures of Sikh Gurus, i.e., Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjun dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Raj, Guru Har Krishnan, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Govind Singh
  19. Name and picture of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
  20. Letters “STC”.
  21. Name and/or picture of the deity of Lord Venkateswara and Balaji
  22. Representation of the Election Symbol of any political party in India.

Having Problems With Trademarks?

Whether you are having trouble with:

  • Trademark Registration and Search
  • Trademark Monitoring

TMReady is here to assist you with our thorough and reasonably priced trademark services. Our team of IP experts will help you easily and affordably register your trademark.


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