Registrable vs Non-Registrable Trademarks
Trademark means “a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one person from those of others and may include a word, combination of numbers, shape of goods, packaging, sounds and/or combination of colors”. To register a trademark, a trademark application must be filed in India with the Registrar of Trademarks.
Registrable marks are those marks that can be represented graphically and marks that are capable of distinguishing itself from other person’s goods and services. Registrable marks according to the TRIPS agreement states that “any sign, or any combination of signs, capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, shall be capable of constituting a trademark”.
A trademark registration application can be filed for a registrable mark.
Examples of Registrable Marks
The following are examples of registrable marks:
- A name of a product that is not unusual for a trade to consider it as a mark. This includes a personal name or a surname of an applicant or predecessor in business or a company name or the signature of the person. The appropriate mark can be represented in a special or in a particular manner in which the proprietor desires to do.
- The invented word or words of a mark should neither be in a direct descriptive of the character nor be the quality of the goods and services.
- A mark can be in a combination of letters or numbers.
- The mark can use fancy devices or symbols.
- Symbols can be represented as monograms.
- Combination of multiple colors or a particular color can be combined with a word or device.
- Considering the shapes of the goods or the specific way in which the goods are packaged.
- Those marks forming a 3-dimensional sign.
- Sound marks that can be represented in a standard system or can be described in words for its graphical representation.
The marks that are not distinctive enough from other marks and which cannot be registered as a trademark are called Non-Registrable marks. This means that the mark has failed to differentiate itself from other goods and services. Hence, trademark registration cannot be obtained for non-registrable marks.
Examples of Non-Registrable Marks
- Marks that cannot be accepted according to the law of Trademark Act.
- Marks that mislead or tends to cause confusion to the public.
- Marks consist of subject matter that hurt the religious senses of any class or sections of the Indian citizens.
- Marks that contain improper or vulgar subject matter.
- Marks that are banned under the Emblems and Names of Prevention of Improper Use Act, 1950.
- Marks of the goods whose shapes are directly obtained from the nature of the goods.
- Marks of the goods whose shapes are important to acquire a technical result.
- Marks that are similar in identity to another good or product.
Know more about trademarks that cannot be registered.