Introduction to Trademarks

A trademark is anything that is used, or intended to be used, to identify the goods of one manufacturer from the goods of others. It is a brand name. Trademarks are important business tools because they allow companies to establish their product's reputation without having to worry that an inferior product will diminish their reputation or profit by deceiving the consumer. Trademarks include words, names, symbols and logos. Anything that distinctly identifies your company can be a trademark, provided that it is for goods.

Service mark

A service mark is very similar to a trademark, except that it is used to distinguish services in the stream of commerce. Like a trademark, a service mark can include words, names, symbols and logos. Typically, trademarks appear on the actual product or its packaging. Service marks appear mostly in advertising for the services. In this education center, when we use the term "trademark," we generally mean both trademarks and service marks.

Use of TM, SM and ® symbols

'TM' stands for Trademark and 'SM' stands for Servicemark. The use of TM and SM symbols notifies the public that the company is claiming exclusive ownership of the trademark and can generally be used by one who has filed a trademark application.

The ® symbol, can be used only once the trademark is registered and the registration certificate is issued. Also, you may use the registration symbol only in connection with the goods and/or services in respect of which the trademark is registered.

What can be registered as trademark?

  • Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.
  • Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.
  • Devices, including fancy devices or symbols
  • Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device
  • Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.
  • Shape of goods or their packaging
  • Monograms & Sound marks
  • The right to proprietorship of a trade mark may be acquired by either registration under the Legislation or by use in relation to particular goods or service.
  • An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.

Benefits of trademark


Registration of your trademark gives you exclusive rights to that name across the country. In today’s global marketplace, another advantage of trade mark registration is that, if you have registered your trademark in India, it will stand you in good stead should you want to register your trademark in another country or countries.


There are few things that companies hate more than a legal ‘cease and desist’ letter for infringing on a registered trademark. An advantage of trade mark registration is that it will deter others from using your name as a whole or part of their brand or company name. If your business is offering something unique or new to market you should register your trademark in order to deter copycats trying to sell their goods or services off the back of your innovation


TM registration is key if you’re considering offering a franchise or licensed reseller aspect to your business. Your brand is your most valuable asset – it signifies your strengths, it’s who you are and it’s your identity in your marketplace. Another advantage of registration is that you will be able to determine how your brand is used by others on licence.