Types of Trademarks in India: A Complete Guide

Types of Trademarks
Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera
| Updated: Feb 24, 2021 | Category: Trademark

A trademark is a mark that is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one from that of the other and may include the goods, combination of colors, packaging, logo, work, design etc. a trademark is capable of being represented graphically. The trademark registration under the Trademark Act, 1999 provides protection of trademark and provides many legal rights and benefits to the owner or the holder of the registered trademark. There are various types of trademarks that can be registered under the act. Therefore, this article will discuss about the Types of trademarks in India.

Understanding Trademark and trademark Registration

Trademark is a mark used to distinguish a product or services of one person from the other by providing a distinctive character and uniqueness to such products. Once a trademark is obtained, it provides protection to a brand and helps to create reputation and goodwill in the market. Further, many legal rights and benefits are provided once a trademark is registered, and the owner of the well know trademark as a right to sue any person who used such registered mark without his/ her consent.

Any letter, work, logo, number, phrase, sound, mix of colors and etc. can be registered as trademarks. A trademark can be registered with the Registrar of Trademarks office and can only those marks can be registered which meets with all the rules and procedures as prescribed under the Trademarks Act. Further, a trademark can be registered by the person whose name is mentioned as the applicant or any other person on behalf of the original applicant as authorized by him.

Once the trademark is approved for registration, the registry shall provide with the Trademark Registration certificate and the registration shall be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing of the application. And after this period, the trademark can be renewed again.

Benefits of Trademark Registration 

Some of the benefits upon the trademark registration are as follows: –

  • It provides legal protection to the owner of the registered trademark.
  • Helps to create product differentiation from the other products in the market.
  • Provides brand recognition and creates goodwill and reputation in the market.
  • A registered trademark becomes an asset for a business enterprise.
  • A registered trademark enhances the overall business value, net worth and goodwill in the industry.
  • Trademark registration helps in the business expansion as the business gets the benefits to introduce new products and expand their business.

What are the various types of trademarks in India?

The various types of trademarks in India are as follows

types of trademarks in India

1. Product Mark

One of the most significant types of trademarks in India is the Product mark is a mark that is related to the products or goods and not the services. A product mark is used to identify the source of a product and to distinguish the products manufactured and sold by one person from the others. Trademark is important for a business as it protects the reputation and goodwill of the business.

Once the application for trademark is filed, a symbol TM can be used till the registration is completed. It takes around 18 to 24 days to complete all the process and formalities with the trademark registry. The symbol ® (registered symbol) can be used once the trademark is registered and a certificate of trademark registration is issued to the trademark holder. The validity of the trademark is for 10 years from the date of the filing of trademark which can further be renewed from time to time.

2. Service Mark

A Service mark is a mark which is related to the services and not the products or goods. A service mark is used to identify the source of service. A service mark distinguishes the services of the one person from that of another. It represents the services offered by a company and is used in the service business where the actual goods are not traded under the trademark. For example, companies providing services like software assembly, computer hardware, beauty and health care services, publishing, advertising courier and transport, hotels and restaurant services and etc. the registration of a service mark helps to protect such mark from being misused by the others. The rules and procedures governing the service marks are fundamentally the same as that for any other trademark.

3. Collective Mark

Collective marks are the marks which are used by the group of companies and is protected by the group collectively. A collective mark is used to indicate or inform the public about the characteristic of the product for which the collective mark is used. The collective mark is used by such as an association, cooperative or a public institution. The collective mark is used to promote the particular products having certain characteristics specific to the producer in a given field. Such mark can be used by more than one trader provided that such trader belongs to a particular association.

The trader associated with such collective mark have a responsibility to ensure the comply with the certain standards that are fixed by its members. The main purpose of the collective mark is to inform the public about the certain characteristic or features of the product for which a collective mark is used.

4. Certification Mark

A certification mark is used to indicate that the particular goods or services are certified by the owner of the mark in terms of the material, origin, quality or any other characteristics. This differs from the standard trademark that distinguishes the goods or services originated from a single company. Therefore, a certificate mark is used to define the standards of the goods or services. It ensures the consumers of the goods or services that such product meets the safety and other prescribed standards. The certification mark on the product represents that the product has gone through the specified standard tests. It ensures and guarantees the consumers that manufacturers have undertaken or gone through audit process to ensure the desired quality of the products. Some of the examples of certification mark are such as electrical goods, food products, cosmetics and etc.

5. Shape Mark

A shape mark is a mark that is used to indicate the shape of the goods, its packaging and etc. the shape mark is used only when it is possible to represent the shape of the product clearly. A shape mark helps to distinguish the goods sold under such trademark from the other manufacturer. If the shape of the goods has some distinctive feature, such trademark can be registered under the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999[1].

6. Pattern Mark

A pattern mark is a mark that consist of a pattern that is capable of identifying the goods or services originating from a particular undertaking, thereby distinguishing it from the other undertakings. Such goods or services are registered as a Pattern Mark. The method of evaluating the uniqueness of pattern mark is similar to that of the other trademarks. those patterns which are not capable of creating uniqueness or distinguishable identity are not capable of being registered as pattern marks. However, through time if a pattern mark is identified and recognized in the minds of the people, it acquires distinctiveness and can be registered for pattern mark. Therefore, pattern mark shall be registered under the trademark if the pattern is able to distinguish the product from the other brands.

7.Sound Mark

A sound mark means, when a particular sound performs the function of uniquely identifying the origin of a product or a service, it is identified as a sound mark. In such cases, such sound is associated with a company or its products or services. A sound mark is a mark that is able to distinguish the product or services or the brand of the company from the others in the mark with a distinctive sound that may be a tune, lyrics or any other equivalent sound that can help the public to recognize the brand associated with it.

What are the types of Trademark Symbols?

The different types of Trademark Symbols are as follows:

types of Trademark Symbols

R Symbol

Once the trademark registration is done, the applicant can start using the ® symbol to indicate that the trademark is registered and protected from any infringement under the Trademark Act.

™ Symbol

This symbol is used for an unregistered trademark for which the application for registration has been filed. The TM symbol is used for the time being to indicate that a trademark application exists with respect to such trademark. And once the trademark is registered, the R symbol shall be used latter.

SM symbol

The SM symbol is the service mark symbol that is used for the service industry that is specifically used for the service mark applications. The SM symbol is used for the applications that are filed for the trademark registration under the class 35- 45.


Trademark is specifically used by a company or an individual to distinguish its products and services from the rest so that it can create its own identity and recognition in the market. There are various types of trademarks for which trademark registration can be done in India such as sound mark, product mark, service mark, pattern mark, shape mark, certification and collective mark. In order to register a mark under any such types, it is necessary that the mark must be unique and have a distinctive feature. Therefore, trademark must be obtained in accordance with the rules and regulation of the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999. 

Also, Read: What are the Common Problems of Trademark Registration?

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Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera

Japsanjam Kaur Wadhera is an Advocate and has completed her BA.LLB (Hons) and has experience of writing various research papers during her college time. Earlier she was working as an Associate Advocate in a reputed Law Firm. She has an extreme interest in writing legal content and her core area falls under legal enactments, tax and finance.


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