What are registrable and non-registrable trademarks in India?

The selection of mark is the most crucial step and it is highly important to select a mark that can be registered. Any unique symbol, mark, logo etc can be registered whereas any derogatory word or symbol etc cannot be registered. Good trademark any word, mark, symbol or a logo which is unique, yet easy to remember is a good trademark. It is advisable to use a creatively invented word.

What can be registered as a trademark?

● Any name
● An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service
● Fancy devices, symbols
● Monograms
● Marks constituting 3-dimensional signs
● Combination of colours or even a single colour in combination with a word or device

What cannot be trademarked?

The marks which are not very unique or cannot be differentiated from other trademarks cannot be registered as trademarks. Some terms or marks which are immoral or opposed to public policy are non-registrable.

Some other non-registrable kinds of marks are:-

  • Geographical location- A geographical location cannot be owned by a particular entity and hence cannot be registered as a trademark
  • Smell- A smell cannot be recorded and is not always identifiable to all. Hence, it cannot be trademarked
  • Confusing marks- A confusing or a misleading mark cannot be registered as a trademark as it is not in the best of public interest
  • Immoral marks- Marks that are opposed to public policy, hurts religious sentiments or abusive cannot be registered.
    The emblem-an emblem cannot be registered as a trademark as it is prohibited by law

  • Similar to a good- A mark that resembles a good or product cannot be registered as a trademark
  • Already registered- The marks that have already been registered cannot be registered

    There are several marks that cannot be registered because they might not be easily identifiable or recognizable by the public which defeats the purpose of registration. Hence it is best to choose a good mark or hire an expert to do the job which is now even available at a click. SubmitTax offer such services.

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