A trademark is a type of intellectual property belonging to an individual or business. It consists of a recognizable sign, logo or design that identifies a product or service.

The symbols (the trademark symbol) and ® (the registered trademark symbol) are used to indicate trademarks. ® is only for use by the owner of a trademark that has been registered.

Trademarks are usually used to distinguish your product or service from competitors or other businesses.

The following can be registered as trademarks:

  • Word
  • Logo
  • Shape
  • Position
  • Pattern
  • Colour (single)
  • Colour (combination)
  • Sound
  • Motion
  • Multimedia
  • Hologram

However, a trademark needs to be unique. It cannot be confused with an already registered trademark.

Standard Character Trademarks

Think of a company and t is more likely registered as a standard character trademark. These usually consist of words, letters, numbers or a combo of them without specific styling. Meaning no font, size, colour, or design. The main goal is to protect the word, regardless of how they are used.

Examples include:

  • Coca-Cola®
  • Under Armour®
  • Twitter®
  • It’s finger lickin’ good!®
  • Just do it®
  • America runs on Dunkin’®

Special form trademarks

Special form trademarks can be seen as the opposite of a Standard Character Trademarks. They are stylized. Meaning they have a font, colour and design as these are an important part of the trademark. Basically, protecting the way the trademark looks.

Examples include:

The golden arches of McDonald’s®

The swoosh design of the Nike® logo.