In a groundbreaking development, Indian Trademark
authorities, for the first time, have registered a sound mark in
The distinctive yodel of the US internet services company, Yahoo
Inc., became the first sound mark to get a certificate of
registration from the Trade Marks Registry at New Delhi.
A sound mark is a non-conventional trademark where a particular
sound does the function of uniquely identifying the commercial
origin of a product or a service unlike the other traditional form
of trademarks that include words, signatures, names, devices,
labels, numerals, acronyms, logos etc. In the case of sound marks,
a certain sound is associated with a company or its product or
services - much like the famous example being the MGM's roar of
a lion. As media reports suggest, several other companies are now
queuing up at the Trade Mark Registry in different parts of the
country to get their sound marks registered.
Even after the enactment of the new Trade Marks Act 1999, which
came into effect in 2003, the Indian authorities were reluctant to
acknowledge the need for granting sound marks to companies as
uniqueness of sound was perceived to be difficult to be expressed.
Sound is also used to assert brand presence by companies along with
As per media reports, the international register of trademarks
under the administration of World Intellectual Property
Organization, a UN agency, has issued 35 sound marks, 526
three-dimensional marks and more than 3,000 colour marks.
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