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Common different types of trademarks
A trade mark is one of the ways a consumer can identify a product or service. Your trade mark is said to make up your brand and it shows consumers who you are. Effective trademarks are able to stand out from other businesses and competitors.
Trademarks are of high significance because they help consumers determine the quality of your product or service over any competitors. It is important to note that a trade mark is not simply just a logo.
A trade mark encompasses a lot more, including; a number, word, phrase, letter, smell, shape, sound, logo, movement, picture, aspect of packaging, or a mixture of these. There is a common misconception that a trade mark is the same as a business name, however it is not the same. Read this article before using trademark serevices or register your brand.
Below are some of the most common different types of trademarks available in Australia:
1. Sound trade mark
This is in relation to an actual sound that refers to a good or service. This could be anything from a business slogan being spoken to a little jingle. An example of a well-known sound trade mark includes the Coles jingle, “Down, down, prices are down”. You can probably hear the tune in your head!
2. Shape trade mark
This includes a 3D shape that is used to differentiate the products from one business to another’s. Some examples of shapes with existing trade marks include; pens, bottles, toothbrushes and biscuits. A shape that is used commonly can’t be trademarked, so you couldn’t trade mark a standard drinking glass. When trademarking a shape you must determine that your shape is different from competitors and it doesn’t already exist.
3. Movement trade mark
This gives your business protection in relation to any movement of your good or service. Movement trademarks are a good way to help stand out from your competitors. An example of a well-known movement that has been trademarked is from Toyota. The Toyota trade mark jump shows the silhouette of a person leaping in the air with hands in above their head and knees bent.
4. Colour trade mark
Specific colours can be trademarked however it is not easy to gain a colour trade mark. This is because a colour can mean a variety of different things but you have to prove that consumers and the general public associate a particular colour with your business. Cadbury was able to get their purple colour trademarked. You are probably all aware of the specific purple colour that is heavily featured in their advertisements and on their packaging. Trademarking a combination of colours tends to be easier than trying to trade mark one particular colour.
Trademarks come in all different shapes and sizes. After being in this business for many years we understand just how confusing it can actually get. Some of the trademarks can take significant amounts of evidence as well as time to achieve, however the benefits of finally getting your trade mark is completely worth it. If you find you don’t have the time or expertise to lodge a proper trademark enquiry, talk to trademark-lawyers.com.au about your situation to see how we can help!
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