You may not realise it, but everyone interacts with trademarks on a daily basis whether you’re at work, in a supermarket or at home. A trade mark is essentially your identity and can be a valuable asset for your business.
Often referred to as a “brand”, a trademark helps identify who you are to your customers. Whether it's a logo for your business, a scent used in your product or a jingle used in an advertisement, trademarks can be a great way to differentiate you from your competitors!
A trademark can also be a phrase, word, number, letter, image, type of logo, packaging feature or a combination of these. From this simple definition, we have broken down the types of trademarks into seven basic categories.
What are the different types of trademarks?
The Figurative mark
The Colour trade mark
The Scent trade mark
The Wine trade mark
The Plant trade mark
The Combination mark
What is a Wordmark?
A wordmark is comprised of one or more words, such as or Cartier or Giorgo Armani. The trademark can also consist of a combination of letters or numbers such as Forever 21 or 7 Up. When registering a wordmark, you will need to specify a standard typeface. This means that you will also need to apply for a figurative mark if the trademark features a specific shape that you wish to protect.
What is a Figurative mark?
Figurative marks are represented by images, graphics and pictures that are combined with words such as the Nestle logo. This can also consist of basic wordmarks that feature a unique font in black white or colour. Some examples include the Adidas and Puma font choice.
What is a Colour trademark?
A colour trademark protects a particular colour associate to your good or service. Colour trademarks can be tricky to register because the registration process requires significant evidence of how you apply the specific colour. To do this, it’s important that you can support how customers or the public recognise your goods and services via this colour. For example, Cadbury was successfully able to trademark a single purple shade for their boxed in blocked chocolates since 1994.
What is a Scent trademark?
Scent trademarks protect specific scents in relation to your goods or services. Like colour marks, scent trademarks are difficult to register due to the fact that you can’t just isolate one scent without it being distinctive to your particular goods or services. For example, Brazilian footwear company Grendene was able to successfully trademark their bubble gum-scented jelly sandals line in June, 2015 by providing a sample of their product as evidence to the U.S. Patent Office.
What is a Wine trademark?
When choosing a wine or alcoholic grape product trademark, it’s important that you have important information ready including a geographical name, registered geographical indication, a quality wine term used in the register and a word or expression that resembles your geographic indication before registering. For example, one of Australia’s oldest wineries, Penfolds provides a range of trademarks that help customers understand the quality and background of each product.
What is a Plant trademark?
A plant trademark refers to the specific source of the plant itself including the producer, grower or seller. It’s best to use a plant trademark if you have a number of different plants selling under the same producer. A plant trademark will not cover the material of the plant, the scientific name or plant variety itself. If you wish to register a variety of plant, consider applying for a Plant Breeder's Right.
What is a Combination mark?
A combination mark simply features a range of words and logos used in combination. This should be used is you choose to register these words and images together or if you wish to register them separately, giving you the most protection against your products and services. This means that even if you choose to change your logo, the words you have registered separately will still be protected.
So there you have it. Trademarks are everywhere and are more common than you think. Trademarking your goods and services can be a great way to identify your brand and should be something to consider if you want to distinguish yourself from your competition.
Want to create a unique graphic or logo for your trademark?
Choosing a great logo or graphic design for your brand is a key decision for any company. This is a design that will act as the cornerstone of your brand, and all other designs you create, so getting it right is a great investment.
The best part is, finding an incredible logo is easy!
Thanks to the power of crowdsourcing, you can source logo designs from hundreds of designers at the same time. Simply post a logo design contest and watch as different logo designs pour in from designers all over the world. You can give feedback and chat with the freelancers about their entries to narrow down and iterate on your favorite designs.
Then, when the contest is finished, award the contest prize to the designer of your favourite logo, and the Intellectual Property of that design is transferred to you.
With access to over a million graphic designers, hiring a logo or graphic designer couldn’t be any easier.