A trademark is designated by the following symbols:
• (for an unregistered trade mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
• â,, (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark â,, superscript SM used to promote or brand services)
• ® (for a registered trademark)
A new Trademark regime has been introduced in India since September 15, 2003. The new Trade Marks Act, 1999 has many innovative features:
1. Service Marks:
Service marks are marks used in service business where actual goods under the mark are not traded. It is a mechanism available to protect marks used in the service industry. Thus businesses providing services like computer hardware and software assembly and maintenance, restaurant and hotel services, courier and transport, beauty and health care, advertising, publishing, educational and the like are now in a position to protect their names and marks. As service marks are a particular type of trademark, the substantive and procedural rules governing both types of marks are fundamentally the same.
2. Collective Marks:
Marks being used by a group of companies can now be protected by the group collectively. Collective mark is used to inform the public about the particular feature of the product for which the collective mark is used. The owner of such marks may be an association or other public institution or cooperative of which the enterprise is a member. Collective marks are also used to promote particular products which have certain characteristics specific to the producer in a given region.
3. Certification Marks:
Certification marks are used to define standards. The issue of certification marks indicates that the product has gone successfully gone through certain standard of test specified for a particular product. It assures the consumer that the manufacturers have gone through regular process of audit to ensure the standard of production. For example- Toys, Electrical goods, etc. have such marking.
4. Well-known marks:
Marks, which are deemed to be well known, are defined. Such marks will enjoy greater protection. Persons will not be able to register or use marks, which are imitations of well-known trademarks. In order to be a well-known, a trademark need to be known by a relevant section of people which include number of actual or potential customer, people involved in the distribution and business service dealing with the goods or services.
• The difference between Trademarks and Service marks is that Service marks are used by a business house to distinguish their service from other services provide in the same field. Trademark is used to distinguish competing products, not services. Trade marks are affixed to good by means of tag or label but service marks are displayed through advertisement and promotions.
• The difference between the certification mark and the collective mark is that the collective mark is used by a particular enterprise or members of the association while a certification mark may be used by anybody who meets the defined standards.
Unconventional Trademarks are those which get its recognition for it inherently distinctive feature.
Unconventional Trademarks include the following categories:
• Colour Trademark- If a particular colour has become distinctive feature indicating the goods of a particular trader. For example- Red Wine
• Sound Marks- Signs which are perceive by hearing and which is distinguishable by their distinctive and exclusive sound. For example-Musical notes
• Shape of goods, packaging-When shape of goods, packaging have some distinctive feature. For example-Ornamental Lamps
• Smell trademarks-When smell is distinctive and cannot be mistaken with an associated product. For example-Perfumes