Answer ... According to Section 2(1) (zb) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, a ‘trademark’ means a mark which is capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others, and may include the shape of goods or their packaging and combinations of colours.
The types of trademarks that may be registered in India include the following:
- any name (including the personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark;
- an invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service;
- letters or numerals or any combination thereof;
- devices, including fancy devices or symbols;
- combinations of colours or even a single colour in combination with a word or device;
- the shape of goods or their packaging;
- marks constituting a three-dimensional sign; and
- sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
Answer ... The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 are as follows:
- The mark should be capable of being represented graphically (ie, in paper form);
- The mark should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others; and
- The mark should be used, or proposed to be used, in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating, or so as to indicate, a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services.
Anyone that claims rights in a trademark, as long as the trademark is pending registration, can use the symbol TM after the trademark (wherever applicable). Once the trademark is registered, the person may use the symbol ® after the trademark. The use of the TM and the ® symbol in connection with a trademark aims to inform potential infringers that the particular word/combination/logo is being claimed as a trademark.
Answer ... Any trademark which is devoid of distinctive character or which consists exclusively of signs or indications that may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, place of origin or time of production of the goods, or that have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade, may be considered ineligible to function as a trademark.