A Trademark is a visual symbol in the form of a word, number, device, or label, which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of goods, their packaging, and a combination thereof.

Trademark is a product of competitive trade practices. Every trader seeks to sell his product by its name and distinctiveness. The changing business practices have also changed the concept and philosophy of Trademark. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the different types of trademarks. The different types of Trademarks are classified under two heads-



Conventional Trademarks are marks represented by words, letters, numerals, or pictures.

It includes the following types of Trademarks-



A Trademark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression that identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. It is a product mark attached to goods for the purpose of indicating their origin. It also represents the distinctiveness and goodwill of a business from that of others.

EXAMPLE- Colgate, Lux, Nike, and others.




Service means service of any description, which is made available to potential consumers, in connection with the business of any industrial or commercial matters such as banking, communication, education, financing, insurance, chit funds, real estate, transport, storage, material treatment, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, boarding, lodging, entertainment, amusement, construction, repair, conveying of news or information or advertising.

A service mark is a brand name or logo that identifies the provider of a service. A service mark may consist of a word, phrase, symbol, design, or some combination of these elements.

EXAMPLE– Logos of SBI, ICICI, LIC, Hotels, and other service provider industries.





A collective mark means a Trademark distinguishing the goods or services of the members of an association of persons not being a partnership firm, used by its members to identify themselves with a level of quality or accuracy, geographical origin, or other characteristics set by the organization. Whereas the trademark belongs to an individual but a collective mark belongs to an association of persons, other than a partnership firm.

EXAMPLE- BAJAJ, GODREJ, the mark “CA”, is used to indicate members of Certified Chartered Accountants and others.





Certification mark means a mark used in the course of trade, which is certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy. Basically, a certification mark on a commercial product indicates the existence of an accepted product standard or regulation and a claim that the manufacturer has verified compliance with those standards or regulations.

EXAMPLE– FSSAI for Food Safety, Agmark for food items, Hallmark for Jewellery, and others.



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A non-conventional Trademark, also known as a non-traditional Trademark, is any new type of Trademark that does not belong to a pre-existing, conventional category of trade mark, and which is often difficult to register, but which may nevertheless fulfill the essential Trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of products or services.

The term is broadly inclusive as it encompasses marks that do not fall into the conventional set of marks (e.g. those consisting of letters, numerals, words, logos, pictures, symbols, or combinations of one or more of these elements), and therefore includes marks based on appearance, shape, sound, smell, taste and texture.

It includes the following types of Trademarks-




A unique and distinctive Trademark with catchy colors that can be easily distinguished by consumers. However, in practice, a combination of colors stands a better chance of registration, provided that it is capable of distinguishing the goods of one trader from those of another.


Illustration of printing a color wheel with twelve colors in gradations




The function of a sound Trademark is to uniquely identify the commercial origin of products/ services by means of an audio clip. In general, applications in the form of musical notations describing the sound meet these requirements like musical notes, whereas onomatopoeic descriptions do not like the noise of a dog barking.


Color music digital soundwaves isolated on a black background. Vector illustration




In order for protection to be approved, the shape must be significantly different from what is common in the market. For example, when a product has a common three-dimensional shape, one can recognize it as a bottle. But there are certain cases where shape cannot be used as a Trademark.

  • Shape resulting from the nature of goods itself.
  • Shape necessary to obtain a technical result.
  • Shape which gives substantial value to goods.





These are the marks consisting of a pattern that is capable of identifying the goods or services of one and thus distinguishing it from those of another. Such goods/services are registrable as Pattern Marks. The pattern of such a brand is distinguishable from the products of other brands.




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