We all know that symbols can be filed as Trademarks in India as well as in other countries as well. But what symbols are good trademarks, the primary requirement of any trademark is that it should be distinctive and unique, which in simple words means that it should have some character, unique design or special feature that is artistic and creative enough which can be easily identified by the public. We often see that many brand have names but also has symbol or logo as trademark, for example APPLE and its symbol that is half bitten apple. Another example is camera like symbol of instagram , all this logos , we see are creative and unique such that every person can simply identify the brand by looking at these symbols. But in order to choose write symbols what one must do?
First of all we need to understand what we must avoid?
1) DO NOT CREATE LOGOS FROM FREE WEBSITES.
2) DO NOT CREATE LOGO THAT HAS ONLY SIMPLE MATHEMATICAL FIGURE
3) DO NOT OPT FOR SIMILAR LOGO THAT EXISTS IN MARKET ALREADY
4) DONOT TAKE COMMON FREE IMAGES FOR CREATING PACKAGINGS
Now , we must go back to first part of this article-where it is stated that , it is very important that your trademark that can be a symbol or logo must be unique and distinctive.
So all the DON’T s stated above essentially exclude the possibility of opting for a common, non-distinctive and non-creative symbol.
Let us elaborate these points in more details:
When you create a logo from a free website, basically you are taking all common elements which are existing, which anyone can have, you have no ownership over the same therefore, you cannot stop someone else as well from using the same, when something is free for all, it means it cannot be considered as proprietary and hence you cannot stop others from using the same, which is essentially the primary function of trademark protection-to secure your brand in manner so as to create a monopoly over it.
Now, let say you have not used any free logo website, but how to ensure that it is safe design and design that is permitted under trademark law. Now we shall proceed to our next point where it is advisable never to opt for common mathematical figures like simple circle, triangle or square as it is, which mean in case you are choosing a circle as primary shape- you need to some creative elements which make that simple shape unique and distinctive. For example, add color pattern to it mix two or more geometrical shapes, create some unique design on it and thereafter , you will have a logo that is permissible under trademark registration in India.
The simple logic behind this is because these geometrical shapes already exist, which are common to all and hence, such figures and logo can never be secured under trademark.
This understanding is further strengthened under section 9 of trademark Act.
So, I hope this second point is also clear, now let us proceed to 3 and 4 point, where it is advisable to conduct a trademark search for your logo to make it certain that no other person or company is using that logo, so that you may avoid objection under section 11 of trademark act, and same goes for the packaging of your products.
We shall be elaborating on this topic soon with few more real world examples.