This article on ‘Types of Trademarks in India: All You Need to Know’ was written by Shudhi Malhotra, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
Trademarks reassure the consumer that the business or goods wearing the trademark is of a reputable and well-known quality. Simply put, trademarks protect customers from being duped.
This article will focus on the basics of trademarks, various types of trademarks, and the significance of each form of trademark. There are various sorts of Trademarks in India that once registered grant proprietors legal rights and protection.
What is a Trademark?
A Trademark Act of 1999 Section 2(zb) states a trademark is a unique symbol, logo, word, or multiple words that are legally registered or established through their use as representing a company or product brand. Brand names and logos that are used on products and services are protected by trademarks. Trademarks are protected by law as forms of intellectual property.
Consumer brand recognition is the main goal of a trademark.
Legal protection for trademark
- A person or organization that uses a trademark to sell goods ultimately acquires exclusive rights to the trademark via use.
- To prevent rivals from using a certain trademark, it is advised for increased security to register the trademark under the relevant intellectual property laws.
Different Types of Trademarks in India
The different types of Trademarks in India are Service Marks, Collective Marks, Certification Marks, Color trademarks, Shape trademarks, and Device marks.
The Trademarks Act of 1999 of India does not define “service mark” separately; rather, it is included in the definition of a trademark under Section 2(zb), which specifies any term, name, symbol, or combination used or intended to be utilized in commerce to identify and differentiate the services of one provider from those of other providers and to indicate the source of services like:
- Management and investment services
- housing development services
- Advertising Promotional service
- speed reading instruction
- Hotel and motel services
According to section 2(1)(g) of the Trademarks Act of 1999, a “collective mark” is a trademark that can be used to differentiate the goods or services of members of a group of people who are not partnerships under the Indian Partnership Act of 1932 from those of other parties.
Associations use them to compare themselves to themselves in terms of quality or accuracy. Before members can use the mark, associations must ensure that certain quality standards are met. Even a cooperative or a public institution may be the proprietor of the collective trademark. The organization must be of a type that can file lawsuits and be sued.
According to Section 50 of the Trademarks Act of 1994. A certification mark denotes that specific characteristics of goods or services in conjunction with which it is used are certified. Thus, a certification mark indicates that the goods or services in connection with which it is used have been approved by the owner of the mark in terms of
- Mode of manufacturing of goods
- Performance of services
- other characteristics.
The words “mix of colors” are preserved as a trademark because they are included in the Trademark Act of 1999’s definition of a trademark. To be registered as a color mark, however, a color combination must be distinct, one-of-a-kind, and identify the product and its source. It won’t be deemed unusual to simply use red and yellow to denote orange. The color must be very distinctive and instantly acknowledged by the target market to be registered under this sort of trademark.
The term “shapes of goods” is used in the Trademark Act, 1999’s definition of a trademark. Therefore, shape marks are also protected by the Trademark Act, 1999. However, Section 9(3) of the Act contains a restriction that expressly forbids the registration of a trademark that consists only of the following shapes:
- Shapes that are inherent like the goods themselves
- Shapes that required to achieve technical results
- Shapes that significantly increase the worth of the goods.
Furthermore, the application should be filed regarding items and not the container in which the goods are contained.
A device mark typically includes an aesthetic component in addition to the word mark, such as symbols or a visual representation. A word mark and several creative components are typically included. Such components may have both trademarks and non-trademarkable features, depending on the device mark in question. Such a mark protects the composite mark that is registered but not for individual components. It’s interesting to note that a device mark’s protection is only valid for the color scheme in which it is registered when it is registered in color. However, a black-and-white device mark that has been registered offers greater protection because the owner can also ask for color protection for the registration.
Importance of different types of Trademarks
It’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between each form of a trademark before applying for one. To begin with, a mark must be distinctive and unique to qualify for legal protection under the Trademark Act, 1999. If your trademark appears to be somewhat similar to those already on the market, you may want to consider changing it so that it can be registered because it offers product identification, a trademark’s distinctiveness is crucial. There was a lot of uncertainty and misunderstanding in the market before the regulation of the rules governing trademarks. Since consumers could not readily identify the source of goods or services, it was challenging to win their brand loyalty.
A trademark, also known as intellectual property, is a name, brand, or emblem that has been developed with a limited right of ownership and serves to distinguish your business from those of your rivals. Additionally, a registered trademark is protected by this trademark’s legal rights. The many sorts of trademarks aid in the registration procedure and show you which category you must register for the trademark under. To ensure that your trademark is always secured against unauthorized use, it is always advised to register it.
- “Types of Trademarks”, India Fillings, available at: https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/types-of-trademark/
- “Types of Trademarks That Can Be Registered in India”, Khatabook, available at: https://khatabook.com/blog/types-of-trademarks/
- Abdulrahman Abou Naja, “Types Of Trademarks: All You Need To Know”, Mondaq, 25 August 2020, available at: https://www.mondaq.com/trademark/979316/types-of-trademarks-all-you-need-to-know