Essential Trademark Features And Fascinating Facts
Have you noticed how you can recognise an Apple product just with its trademark or look for a McDonald’s store by spotting its trademark ‘M’ sign? We identify and recollect most brands owing to their trademarks.
A trademark is nothing but a visual or audible identification of goods and/or services offered by the owner of the trademark. In fact, trademarks have been around for much longer than they were actually legally recognized and registered. In the earlier times, sculptors and painters left a distinguishing mark on their work of art to denote that it was made by them. Also, kingdoms had emblems and seals which were a form of a trademark itself. This is because a trademark is nothing but a mark that is used to distinguish a particular business’s goods and services from those of another. A trademark, when registered, covers names, slogans, logos, phrases, word or words, letter or letters, colour or colours and similar identifiers that describe the goods or the services.
Fascinating Facts and Features Of Trademarks
Let’s get to know a few essential trademark features as well as fascinating facts about trademarks.
- A Trademark could be –
- a design or logo
- a word or a combination of words or even a phrase
- a sound, shape or smell applied to the product with or without limitation applied to the colour or style.
- Trademarks have national rights.
- A trademark used or protected in one country does not have the same protection in another country.
- While many believe the first trademark to be British, records show that the Czech beer trademark Pilsner is one of the oldest, dating back to 1859.
- Some brands have even trademarked colours associated with their brand or product, for instance, the orange colour on the wrapper of Reese’s peanut butter cup is trademarked, specifically mentioned on the wrapper. This prevents other manufacturers from using the same orange colour on their products.
- The same is the case for Tiffany’s blue box or the chocolate brown shade of the delivery company UPS or the pink of the children’s favourite doll Barbie.
- Just like a design, logo or colour is trademarked, some individuals have even trademarked their name, such as celebrity singer 50 Cents who has trademarked his name.
These are just some of the fascinating facts about trademarks and how they help create a brand name for the product or service.
Benefits Of Applying For A Trademark
The prolonged use of a trademark ensures that it is remembered and recognised by the consumers, thus helping create a brand identity. At the same time by applying for a trademark the business also ensures that the brand value and identification is protected from infringement and copying. This is the chief advantage of registering for and obtaining a trademark.
The benefits of trademark and its registration include-
- A trademark identifies the goods and/or services and their owner or origin.
- A trademark provides the trademark owner with the legal right to use the trademark throughout the country.
- A trademark registration gives the entrepreneur the exclusive right to use the mark in respect of the products or services covered by the trademark.
- A trademark is an intangible asset and it can be pledged as a security in order to obtain loan facilities.
- A trademark, upon registering, can be sold, licensed or assigned and can also be transferred.
These benefits of trademarks, therefore, make it important for entrepreneurs to apply for trademarks when deemed necessary. Entrepreneurs can avail Trademark Application Filing service offered by deAsra to obtain a trademark for their product or service.
In order for trademarks to be recognised and also be legally valid, they need to have certain essential features. The trademark must be a mark that includes a heading, a brand, a device, a label, a signature, a ticket, a word, a letter, a name or a numeral, packaging, or a combination of colours. It could even be a combination of all or some of these attributes. Other than this some of the essential features of trademarks are as follows-
A trademark needs to be distinctive. This means that the trademark needs to have an uncommon and appealing quality that distinguishes it from other signs. Further, distinctiveness can also be classified into inherent distinctiveness or acquired distinctiveness. When a trademark is distinct in itself and no one can claim its use justifiably, it is referred to as inherent distinctiveness. Acquired distinctiveness means that through its use the trademark has acquired its distinctiveness. Being distinctive is one of the most vital trademark features that businesses or entrepreneurs need to keep in mind.
Another one of the essential trademark features is that it must be non-descriptive. This means that if the trademark is a word, it can be other than an invented word whether it is newly coined or already existing or can be a geometrical design. The trademark must be short and can be suggestive of the quality of the products but it must not be descriptive, elaborating on the characteristics of the goods or services.
- Easy To Remember
A trademark must be easy to spell as well as pronounce. This is one of the obvious trademark features that must be considered while thinking of a trademark for the business or product. The ease to spell and pronounce the trademark ensures that the trademark is easy to remember and recollect. Additionally, the trademark should not be too lengthy or complicated as that will make it difficult to remember.
In addition to these points, there are certain trademark features that need to be avoided for the trademark to be legally usable and accepted by the authorities. These include-
- A trademark must not be offensive or violating the law.
- A trademark must not be deceiving or cause confusion in the minds of the public.
- A trademark must not contain scandalous matters.
- A trademark must not contain exclusively contain marks or indications which are customary in the established practices of trade, such as the ISI mark.
- A trademark must not contain prohibited words whose usage is forbidden under the Emblems Act.
These are the essential trademark features that entrepreneurs and businesses need to keep in mind while registering the trademark. Entrepreneurs can refer to the Trademark registration checklist to help prepare the documents needed for the application process and to familiarise themself with the process. Alternatively, entrepreneurs can even understand how to register a trademark online to carry out the registration for their trademark or can approach the experts at deAsra Foundation for assistance with trademark registration for the goods or services.