Types of Trademarks
A Trademark is any unique and distinct mark, sign, or indication which is capable of distinguishing the product of a company from the same kind of products offered by all other companies in the given market. By doing so, a trademark serves as the product identifier, as indicator of the source of origin of the concerned product, and as the means of prominence of the product as well as the related company in the jurisdictional market. Thus, trademarks are considered as one of the fundamental and vital intellectual properties of all business, professional, and service entities engaged in various sectors of economy. Hence, selection of a trademark is certainly of immense importance to a company. To help people and entities active in various economic fields in India and abroad in creating a scintillating trademark or service mark, provided hereunder is very enlightening information about the types of trademarks used in all economic sectors. Here, it may be noted that a service mark serves the same purposes to help a service-providing company, which a trademark does for the related product-manufacturing company.Broadly, the most common and popular trademarks and service marks used in various sectors of economy, can be categorized into the following major categories:
- Word Marks: --- A Word Mark is the name, words, or any wording consisting of a combination of letters and numerals (such as 5RT), by which a product or service is presented to the markets.
- Figurative Marks/Logos: --- The figurative marks are also known as the device marks. A Figurative Mark consists of a figure or a word or wording combined with a figure. These figurative marks do encompass the "word marks" which are designed with any particular fonts, colors, or layouts.
- Shape Marks: --- These represent any uniquely distinctive two-dimensional or three-dimensional shapes or configurations of the products or goods or packaging thereof. Here, it must be noted that the shapes must be capable of serving as a trademark in the markets concerned.
- Color Marks: --- A Color Mark is any distinguishing color or any specific combination of many colors which serves as recognition of the related product or service.
- Sound Marks: --- A Sound Mark is any unmatched and distinguishing sound, melody, or a jingle related with a product or service.
In addition to these all types of trademarks and service-marks mentioned above, trademarks and service-marks can also be entirely distinctive based on any specific Smell or Taste. Noteworthy at this juncture also is the fact that, the Collective Marks and Certification Marks are nothing but any of the above-noted categories of marks. These collective and certification marks are elucidated below separately. Again, it is very enlightening to state here that, the majority of trademarks used in various economic sectors belong primarily to the categories of word marks and figurative marks (device marks). Come under these both categories of trademarks and service-marks are --- any distinctive word or letter, numeral, name, certain wording or phrase, graphical figure, sign or signature, device, symbol, slogan or punch line, picture or image, logo, or any other distinguishing indication, or a unique and distinct combination of many of these.
A Collective Mark is any specific sign or indication which distinguishes products or services of a certain group of enterprises. This group may be an organization, association, and so on. Only the member companies or enterprises can use the collective mark. Generally, such an association or organization is established as being distinct in respect of certain specific quality, characteristics, geographical origin, or any other criteria. An example of a collective mark is the mark "CPA", which distinguishes the members of the Society of Chartered Public Accountants.
A Certification Mark is any unique and scintillating mark which is owned by a corporation or organization, and represents or guarantees certain standards of quality, accuracy, manufacturing processes or conditions, or any other highly desirable and distinctive features set by the organization. Any company which makes strict and complete compliance with these set standards for manufacturing its products, can use this certification mark as trademark (with or without its own specific trademark, if any). The certification marks are also referred to as the guarantee or control marks. A well-eminent example of a certification mark is WOOLMARK, which is used by companies to assure that the woolen goods produced by these companies are made of 100% wool.
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