Trademarks includes any word, letter, alpha numeral, name, symbol or device, graphical presentation, colour scheme, packaging or shape of goods or any combination thereof to identify and distinguish a person’s goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.
Service mark is a trade mark but it is used to identify and distinguish the services (e.g. star TV, AIR, welcome group hotels, Air India etc.). The distinctive features of radio and television programs, titles and the names of the character could be registered as service marks. The definition of trade mark is applicable to service marks but the only difference is that it is used or registered for a service not for goods.
Shape or 3D Trademarks
The shape trademarks have been recognised by the 1999 Act and they may be registered, if the same is of distinctive character. The possibility and law of registration of shape designs is new and not free from confusion as to what has been sought to be allowed, to be used as a trade mark. Certain things of course are clear that a shape, without which an article cannot function, can neither be registered as a design nor as a trademark.
The sound trademarks are becoming popular as sound signatures don’t need translation or a script to be understood. Sound notation can be presented graphically. If visual notation would not possess distinctive character, it cannot be registered as a trademark. The law does not explicitly exclude sound marks from registration nor does it say that a trademark must be visually perceptible.
The colour of an item can also function as a trademark. Single colours or shades of colours have attracted attention of the business community in recent times. Colour is considered a powerful and effective means for a successful trademark.
Certification mark is similar to trademark but is used to certify the origin, material, mode of manufacture, accuracy, quality of other characteristics of a person’s goods or services or that the work or labour on the goods or services was performed by the members of a union or other organisation.E.g. Ag mark, wool mark, ISI etc…
It is used by the members of the cooperative, an association or other collective group or organization. It is particularly useful for such trademarks which may not be eligible for registration as certification trademark on one hand as also as geographical indication on the other.
There was a special category of textile marks which were used or proposed to be used in relation to textile goods including piece goods with provision.
If a specific smell can satisfy the twin requirements of distinctiveness and graphical representation. In order to obtain registration of a smell trade mark, an applicant must be able to visually represent the product’s scent and must show its distinctiveness from the product itself.
Mostly trademarks rely on combination of various things like words and colour, words and sound, words and shapes and so on. They appear to be best to achieve distinctive character as also useful in marketing effort in writing publicity copy. Names of some combination of colours that appear fanciful in relation to goods, or more probably services may be inherently registrable.