Trademark Classification in India
27 Sep, 2023
A trademark is usually a word, phrase or symbol which indicates a particular product and distinguishes it from other products of its criteria. A trademark actually means that a specific product belongs to a specific company and exclusively recognizes the ownership of the company on the brand.
Just like a trademark, a service mark differentiates the source of a service. The term ‘Trademark’ usually refers to both trademarks and service marks. It is considered as a form of intellectual property.
Trademark is the name of a product, logo, slogan etc. Suppose someone bottles a beverage and name it Coca Cola by using the brand logo.
But it is impossible as the name ‘Coca Cola’ and its logo belong to The Coca Cola Company which is Trademark registered.
Trademark has its boundaries as well. It prohibits any mark that resembles and creates confusion with an existing brand. Therefore a brand cannot use a symbol or logo that looks similar or means similar to any existing brand. It usually happens when the products or services are related.
A trademark is responsible for protecting name or designs which identifies the source and owner of a product or service. Unlike a trademark, a patent safeguards an invention for a certain time span. There are different kinds of patents. On the other hand, Copyright protects the work of authorship like writing, art, music etc.
Trademark is not required by a company to protect its rights. It is acquired because there are many benefits of trademark registration. Trademark and copyright sometimes overlap. For example, if a graphic illustration is used as a logo, both copyright and trademark laws protect it.
Trademark can be sold and brought. Nike Inc. purchased the famous Swoosh logo in ’71. A single trademark can be issued to other companies also for a certain time period and under certain conditions forming a crossover brand.
There are ample numbers of brands and the brand’s involvement in marketing makes the difference. Branding can be quite critical to establish a new identity for the company.
As an example, the name LEGO is itself a brand name and it has licensed sub-brands like Star Wars and DC comics to produce their LEGO versions. Further, these products are also being called LEGO – such is the brand identity of the logo.
Similarly, brands like Kleenex are quite prominent in that the brand name has replaced the original product name. People ask “Do you have any Kleenex?” instead of asking “Do you have any facial tissue?” Here, the brand name has successfully replaced the name of the product.
Trademark does not only distinguish within the legal business system but also does it significantly with the customers.