Trademark Registration

Types of Trademarks: A Complete Guide

Types of Trademarks

A trademark is a kind of Intellectual Property. A trademark helps in distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of the other enterprise.

To define precisely, it can be said that a trademark is a kind of a sign, symbol, or a design that helps in identifying and distinguishing the source of goods of one party to the other party.

A service trademark is not for goods but the services; it is defined as the phrase – symbol, or design that identifies, and distinguishes the source of service rather than goods. A trademark is used as a generic term for both trademark and service marks together.

TM stands for Trademark, and SM stands for the Service Mark. The registration process is the same for both the Trademarks and Service marks.

Examples: Slogans, Brand Names, Logos, taglines, distinctive catchphrase, or captions etc.

Purposes of Trademark Registration

  1. Distinguish the source
    The purpose of the Trademark is – distinguish the source of the product or service
  2. Assures the quality

It assures the quality of the product or services.

  1. Exclusive Ownership

It helps to identify the exclusive ownership of the Trademark.

Types of Trademarks Registration

There are two main categories for the registration of the Trademark:

  1. General Category –
  • Generic Mark
  • Suggestive Mark
  • Descriptive Mark
  • Arbitrary Mark
  • Fanciful Mark
  1. Specific Marks
  • Service Mark
  • Certification Mark[1]
  • Collective Mark
  • Trade Dress
  • Trade Name
  • House Mark
  • Family of Marks
  • Sound Marks
  • Pattern Marks
  • Position Marks
  • Hologram Marks
  • Multimedia Mark
  • Motion Marks
  • Logotype

Read our article:Step by Step Trademark Registration Procedure

Explanation of Trademark Registration

Explanation of Trademark Registration
  1. Generic Mark

It represents the description of the words which are used in common parlance. For words like “hotel, market, food, and watch,” no registration of Trademark is done over it. The word is for public use and it would be unfair to give a monopoly over such whole such kind of words F&B Industry. The company must add another modifier to its products to qualify for the generic mark as all the other potential business could be thrown out of the industry.

  1. Suggestive Mark
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If more specific the mark, the more protective it will be for the issue of Trademark. A trademark requires a particular limit of ingenuity/uniqueness or difference from others to qualify. The suggestive marks are registered only when it represents the quality of the product and which not in the literal sense. Imagination from the consumer end is essential to contribute to the Trademark. Example- Hotstar- it is difficult to identify something like this word, as an online streaming platform.

  1. Arbitrary Mark

It refers to words, which are totally unrelated to the product, as indicated. The efforts should focus on the accumulation of those words, which are new semantic association of words.

Example: The brand name after fruits. We have clothing brand in the name of MANGO, an electronic range in APPLE- a mobile phone.

The success of these uncommon words and their combination defines the effective and careful Intellectual Property Management.

  1. Fanciful Mark

This type of trademark registration in India requires a new word that does not have any meaning to the general public. It requires thought before the formation of such terms.

The company should carefully examine its users and the perception of the brand amongst its audience.

  1. Service Mark

This type of trademark registration is used for Non- Product Items such as services. This type of Trademark differentiates one organization’s benefits from the other organisation similar service provided or differentiates between identical service providers.

For Example American Airlines, Etihad Airlines, Emirates etc.

  1. Collective Mark

For these trademarks registration is done by the organization or group or associations. This mark helps to differentiate the trademark registration of one organization from the other. They distinguish the organizational origin.

  1. Certification Mark
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In this type of trademark registration the mark is utilised to define specific standards. It explains that the product meets a particular standard if certification is provided.

Example: FSSAI Logo, AGMARK Logo, ISI Mark.

  1. Product Mark

It refers to the type of trademark registration where the products of the one manufacturer are distinguished from the other manufacturer.
Example: Nestle or AMUL.

  1. Shape Marks

The shape mark trademark registration refers to the registration of the particular shape of the product because of its distinctive design.
Example: Coca cola Shape, Kitkat Shape.

  1. Trade Dress

This type of trademark registration covers the particular attributes of packaging, interior, or exterior design. This type of trademark registration covers the form in which the product appears.

It covers the aesthetics and not the functional aspects of the products.

  1. House Mark

This type of trademark registration identifies or classifies the manufacturing company or company. The only difference is that the House mark is placed in front of the particular product names; to recognize it belongs to the specific company.

For example: Toyota Corp – its various categories or types like Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry or releasing its multiple categories under the separate trade names, make the model more identifiable.

  1. Family Marks

It is same like a house mark but different in the form. Here the abbreviations used are the same but not the full name. For Example the McDonald’s consumables such as Mc Flurry, Mc Veggie, Mc Puff,

Apple Products- iPhone range- iphone, IPad etc.

  1. Pattern Marks

It means that this type of trade mark registration is done in the fashion industry. The aim is to protect the particular design on the canvass.

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Example: Charles Keith –Bags and dresses

  1. Hologram Mark

This type of trademark registration covers the three (3-D) pictures which are shown in the holographic device.

  1. Multimedia Mark

Such type of trademark registration is seen in the film production houses and the television industry.

In this type, there are company visuals with accompanying sound effects.

Example: Hotstar has a complete different logo which is accompanied by its sound effects.

  1. Logo type

In this type of trademark registration, it protects the creative measure done over the company logo. There is protection given to the every aspect of its visual representation in its logo such as the type of font used or any specific modifications.

  1. Motion Logo

It protects the multimedia mark. It is an animated logo that plays in loop or as one-time clip.


The purpose of trademark registration is to provide international recognized classification for the goods and services following which registration are done. To make it simple, the goods and services are classified and divided into different categories. They are approximately 45 classes, of which 1 to 34 related to goods and 35 to 45 relates to services. Therefore, classification helps in the identification, and the uniqueness, which is attached to the product is what trademark registration is given to the goods and services.

Read our article:How to Apply for Trademark Registration in India?

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