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Kinds of trademarks

A trademark is a distinguishing sign. The most well-known trademarks are word marks and device marks. 99 % of registered trademarks belongs to one of those categories. Other kinds of trademarks are shape marks, colour marks and soud marks.

  1. Word marks: The name by which a product or service is on the market.
  2. Device marks: Logos and labels as well as, for example, words in a special font or presented in a special layout (a logo which includes a name).
  3. Shape marks: In certain cases, the (three-dimensional) shape of a product or packaging can be a trademark (for example a specially designed bottle of perfume).
  4. Colour marks: In exceptional cases, even a single colour or a combination of colours can be a trademark. This is the case when people recognise a certain product or service by its colour. A well-known example are the blue gas tanks used at campsites.
  5. Sound marks: An advertising jingle is sometimes so well known that when people hear it they immediately know what it refers to. In such cases the sound may be regarded as a trademark and eligible for registration (in the form of a musical stave).

However, it is also true that not all signs can be trademarks. If you file a sign that cannot be a trademark, the BOIP is obliged to refuse its registration.