A Trade mark is a visual symbol or sign which can be a word, signature, name, slogan, device, number or combination of colours, used to distinguish goods & services as per the market origin. The mark must be represented graphically.  And be able to distinguish goods and services from one product to another.

Thus, a Trade mark is a sign or a symbol of a Company or its product, distinguishing from similar product prevailing in the market. Providing protection to the owner by ensuring monopoly right to use it or authorised another to use the same. It encourages association of customers with the Company or its product.

Some famous example of Trade mark:


Word: Coca-Cola

Colours:  Egg purple [Cadbury]

Symbol:  Audi

Slogan: I’m loving it [McDonald]

Combination: Starbucks coffee [ name and symbol]

What cannot be considered or registered as trademark:

  1. If not distinctive in nature
  2. Name or surnames
  3. Geographical location
  4. Numerical
  5. Smell
  6. Deceitful
  7. Sound
  8. Hurting religious sentiment.
  9. Anti national
  10. Shape of goods
  11. Logo or mark prohibited under The Emblems and Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
  12. Contrary to law etc.

The main objective of the Trademark law is mentioned in the case Supreme Court in Dau Dayal v. State of Uttar Pradesh , AIR 1959 SC 433:

““The object of trade mark law is to protect the rights of persons who manufacture and sell goods with distinct trade marks against invasion by other persons passing off their goods fraudulently and with counterfeit trademarks as those of the manufacturers…….”

The salient features of the Trade Mark Act, 1999, are as follow:

  1. Providing Trade mark of service apart from goods.
  2. Increasing the tenure of registration from 7 to 10 years.
  3. All international classification of goods and services are applicable in India as well.
  4. Criminal remedies in case of infringement. Etc.

However, a trademark can only be obtained if it is registered under national or regional or international office; through a prescribed process. For achieving an international trade mark, the applicant can either file application specifically to each country where he wants to get registered or through WIPO’s Madrid system.

Though, the registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years , it can be renewed after 10 years after filing  proper application along with the fees, if not cancelled before renewal.