A trademark helps and assures consumers the quality of the product and services and also distinguishes the source. There are various types of trademarks like product marks, collective marks, service marks etc. The purpose of each of these trademarks is the same i.e. to help identify the origin and quality of the product/services.
Following are the different types of trademarks:
Product mark as the name suggests represents goods. A product mark is used to distinguish manufacturer’s products from others by identifying its source. This type of trademark is important to protect the reputation and goodwill associated with a company/business. It is denoted as the ‘TM’ symbol. After registering, the trademark is protected for 10 years starting from the registration date which can be renewed for further 10-year periods.
A service mark is used to distinguish the services provided by one owner to others by identifying its source. A service mark is the same as a product mark but it identifies and differentiates the source of a service instead of a product. Name and marks of companies like courier and transport, hotels services, health care etc. can be protected from being misused by others.
Collective trademarks are used for products to inform the public about its particular characteristics. It is used by a group of companies and can be protected by the group accumulatively. The mark holder can be a public institution or an association. It can be used by more than one trader who belongs to the same association. Compliance of standards fixed with the regulations is the responsibility of the trader associated with a particular trade mark. This type of trademark is also used to promote a certain characteristic of a product which makes it stand out in the market compared to similar products.
A certification mark is used to define standard of a product. It is a sign that indicates that the goods/services are certified by the owner in terms of origin, material, quality, and other characteristics issued by the proprietor. It is different from the standard trademark which distinguishes the goods/service originated from a single company. The occurrence of a certification mark on a product indicates that the product has gone through the standard tests specified, guaranteeing and ensuring the desired quality of the product/service to the consumer by the manufacturer. The product goes through a standard test after which it gets certified.
Shape Mark is exclusively used to protect the shape of the product so that the customers find it relatable to a certain manufacturer and prefer to buy the product. A product can be registered once its shape is recognisable. Shape marks helps to distinguish the goods sold under a particular trademark from various other manufacturers.
Pattern marks are those products that have specific designed patterns that come out as the distinguishing factor of the product in comparison to other products.
Patterns which fail to stand out as a remarkable mark is generally rejected since it does not serve any purpose. Pattern marks that is indistinctive are objectionable because they fail to serve as an identifier of trade source. For a pattern to be registered, it has to show evidence of its uniqueness.
Sound mark is a sound that can be associated with a product or service originating from a certain supplier as it becomes so well known that when people hear it they immediately know what product/service it refers to. Such sound may be regarded as a trademark and is eligible for registration. Sound logos are short distinctive melody which is most likely to appear at the beginning or end of a commercial. They are called as audio mnemonic which is one of the tools of sound branding. A particular sound is used as a trademark to uniquely identify the origin of a product or a service. It can be seen as the acoustic equivalent of a visual logo. Often a combination of both types of logo is used to enforce the recognition of a brand.