What types of trademarks can you register?

Photo of Tomas Orsula

Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

Trademarks can be registered for various types of marks and distinctive elements that are used to identify and distinguish goods or services in the marketplace. Here are some common types of trademarks that can be registered:

  1. Word Marks: These are trademarks consisting solely of words, letters, numbers, or a combination thereof. Examples include brand names like "Apple" or "Nike."
  2. Design Marks: These trademarks consist of specific designs, logos, symbols, or graphical elements. For instance, the Nike "swoosh" logo or the Apple logo are well-known design marks.
  3. Sound Marks: These trademarks are associated with specific sounds or jingles. Examples include the NBC chimes or the Intel "bong" sound.
  4. Color Marks: In some cases, a particular color or combination of colors can serve as a trademark. For instance, the Tiffany & Co. has a registered trademark for its distinctive blue color used on jewelry boxes.
  5. Shape Marks: These trademarks protect the shape or configuration of a product, such as the Coca-Cola bottle or the Toblerone chocolate bar shape.
  6. Motion Marks: These trademarks involve movement or animation. Examples include the animated logo of DreamWorks Studios or the MGM lion roaring.
  7. Smell Marks: In rare cases, certain unique and distinctive smells may be eligible for trademark protection, although obtaining registration for smell marks can be challenging.

It's important to note that the eligibility and registration process for trademarks may vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific requirements of each country's intellectual property laws.

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