In this blog we will get to know about different types of Trademarks. It is essential to distinguish between the products in order to get the best suitable protection for the product. Falling to do so may end up in some lawsuit or may face loss in the revenue. Therefore, it is always advisable to take advice from experts or attorneys for hassle free registration.

In India not every person knows the exact purpose of Trademark and even very few people can identify its general types.

Broadly Trademark types are classified into 5 categories as Generic Mark, Descriptive Mark, Suggestive Mark,  Fanciful Mark and Arbitrary Mark. 

Additionally more specific types of trademark are also supported by international Intellectual Property conventions to ensure and protect the uniqueness of registered Trademarks.

General Types of Trademarks

  1. Generic Mark- Generic mark is a mark which is already very common among the people and it represents everyday descriptions of a product or its seller such as “Shoes”, “Watch” or “Food”. Since these words are already very common in public, therefore no person can apply for its registration. Every other establishment could potentially be forced out of business. Hence, a company must add another modifier exclusive to its products for it to qualify for a generic mark. 
  2. Suggestive Mark- Trademark requires a proportionate level of ingenuity to qualify. As a case in point, suggestive mark register words that imply quality of a product without necessarily relating to it in a literal sense. A good example would be Netflix, which alludes to its line of services without directly stating that it is an online streaming platform.
  3. Descriptive Mark- Descriptive Marks describe its products and are non registrable. It solely applies to the merchandise. 
  4. Arbitrary Mark- These marks are completely unrelated to the products they signify. For example, Apple, it denotes fruit but is actually an electronic phone brand.
  5. Fanciful Mark- This kind of Trademark is indeed vry easy to get registered. It only requires a new word that does not presently hold any meaning to the general public. Before applying for the name it is extremely important for a company to do a proper research and carefully examine how the audience would receive the brand. 

Specific Types of Trademarks

  1. Service Mark-  This special type of Trademark designates protection for non-product items such as services. While commonly interchangeable in the vernacular, a service mark differentiates an organization’s class of services from other similar providers. Examples include American Airlines, Hilton Hotels.
  2. Certification Mark- A mark is registered to ascertain local regulations. The certification mark is used by an authorized user and not by the owner of the mark. Additionally, the authorized user cannot use the mark for its own use.
  3. Collective Mark- Collective Marks are special trademarks owned by organizations or associations. These marks appear to distinguish organizational origin. 
  4. Trade Dress- Trade dress is the interior or exterior design of the product. The protection covers the form in which the product appears. 
  5. Trade Name- Trade names are used in identifying a company as a whole, instead of distinguishing a particular service or product. This is common in multinational organizations that host a variety of brands under their trade name. 
  6. House Mark-  These marks are similar to the trade name. The mark identifies the manufacturing company or corporation. However the difference is that house marks are placed alongside the specific product names to identify it as belonging to the Company. For eg. Toyota Corporation.
  7. Family of Marks- It is similar to House marks. The only difference lies in its form. Popular example is the letter “i” from Ipod, Ipad, Iphone.
  8. Sound Mark- a sound mark is the unique sound or combination of sounds that has proven recognition for the brand. 
  9. Motion Mark- Motion marks are clearly visual in nature. It may be an animated logo that plays either on loop or as a one time clip. 
  10. Logotype- representing a whole company through word calls for rather stringent creative measures. To solve this problem, every aspect of its visual representation including the types of fonts used and specific modifications, are protected by the logotype. 

Therefore it is very important to understand the type of your trademark and after taking advice from an attorney and experts only should pursue its registration.

BIAT Legal LLP is the one stop solution for all your Intellectual Property needs as its experienced team of professionals ensures hassle free registration of Trademarks.

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