Types of trademarks with examples
Updated on : Feb. 17, 2023 - 4 p.m. 17 min read.
Building a brand is a significant accomplishment for any business owner, but protecting that brand is equally important. One of the most effective ways to safeguard your brand is through trademarks.
However, with different types of trademarks available, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is right for your business. That's why we've created this comprehensive guide to trademark types and examples. In this guide, we'll walk you through the different types of trademarks, including word marks, design marks, and trade dress, and provide real-life examples of each.
We'll also explain the benefits of registering a trademark, how to conduct a trademark search, and what to do if you encounter trademark infringement. By the end of this guide, you'll have a clear understanding of how to protect your brand through trademark registration, ensuring that your hard work and investment are safeguarded for years to come.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a symbol, word, phrase, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services of one party from those of others. It is a form of intellectual property that provides legal protection against unauthorized use of your brand. Trademarks can be registered or unregistered, but registered trademarks offer more legal protection. A registered trademark provides the owner with the exclusive right to use the trademark in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered.
A trademark can be used to protect a variety of things, including brand names, logos, slogans, and even product designs. It is essential to choose a unique trademark that is not already in use by another company. A trademark search is an important step in the registration process to ensure that your trademark is not infringing on any existing trademarks.
Types of TradeMarks
A product mark is a trademark that is used to identify and distinguish a particular product or line of products. Product marks are used for packaging, labeling or advertising of the products. Some of the most popular examples of product marks include Coca-Cola and Nike etc.
A service mark is a type of trademark used to describe and separate one type of service from another. The marketing of the services includes using service marks in advertising, promotional products and other materials. McDonald's and Amazon are a couple of examples of service marks.
Symbols and logos
In order to identify and separate the company's goods and services, logos and symbols are visual representations of a company's brand. Symbols, like logos, can be made up of simple or intricate designs, as well as different kinds of shapes, characters, or images.
Mark as a collective
A collective mark is a type of trademark used by a number of businesses to indicate the source of their products or services. Trade associations, professional associations, and cooperative groups all use collective marks.
A certification mark is a trademark used to vouch for a product or service's quality, accuracy, or place of origin. Independent businesses, industry groups, and governmental organizations use certification marks to attest to the high caliber of their wares and services.
Mark the shape
An item is recognized by its distinctive shape or design using a shape mark, which is a type of trademark. When a product has a distinctive shape that sets it apart from similar products, shape marks are used to identify it.
A pattern mark is a trademark that distinguishes a product by its unique pattern or design. When a product has a distinctive pattern or design that sets it apart from similar products, it is marked with a pattern mark.
A sound mark is a trademark that allows consumers to recognize a product by its unique sound. When a product has a distinctive sound that sets it apart from similar products, sound marks are used to identify it.
A geographical indicator is a trademark that is used to designate a product as being produced in a specific geographic area and having certain qualities or a certain reputation unique to that area.
Examples of Famous Trademarks
Many famous trademarks have become synonymous with the products they represent. Here are some examples:
The Apple logo is one of the most recognizable trademarks in the world. It is a design mark that has become synonymous with the company's products, such as the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.
The golden arches of the McDonald's logo are a design mark that is associated with the company's fast-food restaurants. The company has registered this trademark to prevent others from using a similar logo for their products.
The Coca-Cola brand name and logo are some of the most famous trademarks in the world. The company has registered these trademarks to prevent others from using the same name or logo for their products.
Benefits of Having a Trademark
Registering a trademark provides several benefits for businesses, including:
A registered trademark provides legal protection against unauthorized use of your brand. It gives the owner the exclusive rights to use the trademark in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered.
A trademark helps to distinguish your brand from others in the market. It makes it easier for customers to identify your products and services, which can lead to increased sales and brand recognition.
A trademark gives your business a competitive edge in the market. It helps to prevent others from using similar names, logos, or designs, which can confuse customers and harm your brand.
Trademark infringement occurs when someone uses a trademark that is identical or similar to your trademark in connection with similar goods or services. It can cause confusion among customers and harm your brand. If you encounter trademark infringement, you can take legal action to protect your trademark. This may involve sending a cease and desist letter or filing a lawsuit.
How to Protect Your Trademark
To protect your trademark, you should monitor the market for any unauthorized use of your brand. You can also use the ® symbol to indicate that your trademark is registered. This symbol helps to deter others from using your trademark and shows that you take your intellectual property rights seriously.
Trademark Renewal and Maintenance
Once your trademark is registered, you need to renew and maintain it to keep it in force. Trademarks need to be renewed every ten years. You also need to use your trademark in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered. Failure to use your trademark may result in it being cancelled.
In conclusion, trademarks are an essential tool for protecting your brand. They provide legal protection against unauthorized use of your brand and help to distinguish your products and services from others in the market. Registering a trademark involves several steps, including conducting a trademark search, filing a trademark application, and responding to Office Actions. Once your trademark is registered, it is important to monitor the market for any unauthorized use of your brand and to renew and maintain your trademark to keep it in force. By following these steps, you can protect your brand and ensure that your hard work and investment are safeguarded for years to come.