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What is Trademark?

What is Trademark

In general terms, trademark is a certain designation which may assume various forms and is used by entrepreneurs to designate their goods or services. By way of illustration, when an entrepreneur sells shoes under an abstract name “ShoeEx”, that name constitutes the trademark of that entrepreneur, irrespective of the name having been registered or not.

According to Art. 120 of the Act on Industrial Property, a trademark may be any designation which is possible to be represented graphically, provided that such designation is capable of differentiating one enterprise’s goods from those of another. In particular, a trademark may be a word, drawing, ornament, colour composition, spatial shape, including the shape of a good or the shape of packaging (trade dress), as well as a tune or another acoustic signal.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) defines trademark as a symbol identifying a given entrepreneur on the market, thanks to which the entrepreneur is easily recognisable by his clients. What is noteworthy, such trademark must be clearly defined.

There are a number of trademark types:

Word Trademarks

Trademarks represented by way of words, letters, digits, or punctuation marks. Those may be words, sentences, or slogans, e.g. tandem, Jan Sobieski, or “radion washes by itself”.

Figurative Trademarks

Trademarks represented by way of pictures, graphic elements, or photos. Those do not contain words or letters. An example of such trademarks may be the logo of Apple.

Word-Figurative Trademarks

Figurative trademarks containing also verbal elements. Hence, such marks combine pictures, graphic elements, or photos with words, letters, or digits. The logo of our Law Firm seen at the top of the page constitutes a word-figurative trademark.

Spatial Trademarks

Three-dimensional trademarks, representing, by way of a three-dimensional shape, the product itself or its packaging.

Spatial-Figurative Trademarks

Three-dimensional trademarks containing also graphic elements.

Spatial-Word-Figurative Trademarks

When a verbal element is added to the above-defined spatial-figurative trademark, a spatial-word-figurative trademark is developed.

Sound Trademarks

A tune or another acoustic signal. Such trademarks are represented in a graphic form, most often in the form of a musical score (musical notation).

Colour Trademarks

A single colour itself may be a trademark provided it is justified that, due to its intense usage, recipients of the products or services designated with the trademark associate the colour with the given entrepreneur. That is referred to as acquired trademark distinctiveness, e.g. pink – for Telekom (telecommunication services), purple – for Kraft Foods (chocolate and chocolate products).

Colour Composition Trademarks

Also a composition of colours may become a trademark provided it is justified that such composition has trademark distinctiveness, e.g. the marks of Football Club Barcelona or BP petrol station (petrol, oil, etc.).

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Katarzyna Prędota