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A trademark is not just a word or a picture

A trademark is a designation that distinguishes products and/or services of one company from those of competitors, emphasizes products in the market and makes them recognizable among other similar products.

However, a trademark may be not only wordy (slogan, phrase, title of a film/book) and graphic (picture, illustration) or a combination thereof. Trademark is a very peculiar means of individualization. In commerce along with visually perceived designations it is broadly used other trademarks that cannot always be perceptible but have the ability to make goods and services distinguishable. If skilful approach to creation of a trademark is used, customers will memorize you!

In most jurisdictions of the world, including Russia, there are no restrictions on the created image of a trademark. It could be any. The key factor is that it is unique and has a distinctive ability.

So, what else may be a trademark?


Sound trademarks are divided into musical and non-musical. Musical trademarks can be taken from already known sheet music or be created from musical score, non - musical trademarks can also be created or simply taken from nature, for example, the sounds of thunder or roar. In the United States an impressive amount of sound trademarks are registered. An example is the valid trademark (registration number 72349496) which is called "the trademark contains musical score G, E, C, played in chimes." The description reads as follows: "the mark comprises a sequence of chime-like musical notes which are in the key of C and sound the notes G, E, C, the "G" being the one just below middle C, the "E" the one just above middle C, and the "C" being middle C, thereby to identify applicant's broadcasting service". The trademark owner is an American company, NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA, LLC.


The valid trademark of the British company Unicorn Products Limited is registered under the number UK00002000234 for the game of Darts. The sign is called: "the mark comprises the strong smell of bitter beer applied to flights for Darts".

COLOR (single color or combination of colors)

Color trademarks are registered all around the world. On the territory of Russia there are marks of Russian and foreign companies - American, Dutch and others. The main thing in registering such marks is to prove to the Patent Offices that consumers while using the goods and/or services have got a strong association connected with this namely color, which color thus acquired a distinctive ability.

"Sberbank" (certificate No. 556088) has a valid trademark as a single green color (Pantone 349).

MTS (certificate No. 560598) has a valid trademark as a single red color (Pantone 485).

"Gazprom" (certificate No. 561631) has a valid trademark as a single blue color (Pantone 300CV).

Tiffany & Co. (certificate No. 560852) has a valid trademark as a single turquoise color (Pantone 1837).

Reckitt Benckiser (certificate No. 310048) has a valid trademark as single pink color.

GUCHO GUCHI S. P. A. (certificate No. 2004 40403) has a color-scheme trademark as three vertical alternating strips: black-red-black.


The valid trademark (registration No. 727788) as a volumentric piece of chocolate bar belonging to the Swiss company Kraft foods Schweiz Holding GmbH in respect of the products from cocoa and chocolate, bakery and confectionery products, candies, sweets, edible ice.

The valid trademark as a trihedral tea bag (registration No. 3334940) belonging to the American company Tea Forte, Inc. used for brewing of tea in containers made of non-precious metals.

The valid trademark in the form of a wine bottle (registration No. 3699349) of the French company Le Grand Chai de France SA in respect of wines and sparkling wines.


On June 2, 2016 a registration in Colombia was granted to the Dutch company, Diageo Brands B.V., for a tactile trademark - the crackle-glass texture of a Whisky bottle. Pursuant to the Colombian law a tactile trademark must have a distinctive ability in accordance with two criteria:

- a clear, precise, and specific description including a 3D drawing or a photograph of the product; and
- a physical sample of the product.

The trademark for the crackle-glass texture of a Whisky bottle was described as follows: "A wrinkled, cracked, hard texture (surface), that is, striated or scraped in the form of an agglomeration of irregular geometric shapes which include mainly, pentagons, rhomboids and hexagons, which shared walls are between 3 and 6 millimeters long, 0,08 and 0,5 millimeters high and between 0,1 and 1 millimeters wide. Walls and areas contained in the walls are smooth. The material in which this texture is used will be a glass in amber color and will be used in different sizes".

This trademark was previously registered in other countries (Ecuador and the United States). On the territory of Colombia a tactile mark received protection for the first time. This is good news for company owners around the world, as it is the time to protect the creativity and investment of companies and designers who create unique textures that have enough distinctive ability to get protection as trademarks.



It may be difficult to capture the image in paper form, since depending on the angle that one looks at the image, the picture will change and a paper print will not show the movement of the images. And holograms may optically store and retrieve an image in three-dimensions.

The valid trademark (registration No. 683249) of the French company Gruppman de Carte Banker individualizes banking services among other goods and services.


Finnish valid trademark (registration No. 229446).
The trademark registered with the following indication: "The mark is a moving image in which the word POSTI remains in the same position, and around which a loose blue circle is shown in changing sizes and positions. The position in which the circle appears as well as the size of the circle of part of it are shown in the pictures".

Swiss trademark (registration No. 495047).

The trademark registered with the following indication: "the color changes, from red to green, in a continuous manner in the waves from the bottom left in the direction of the upper right, in a lapse of time of eight seconds".

Moreover, trademarks can be taste, position (located in a certain position in relation to the product), gesture and other types. The current legislation of most countries, including Russia, does not limit the degree of freedom of designers.

Author: Julia Nikoleva

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