Updated on: Feb 28th, 2022
7 min read
A legal entity can trademark a sound represented by musical notes series, without or with words in India. Sound trademarks are popular in the USA, and awareness about sound trademarks are fast rising in India. A jingle, musical composition or sound can play a significant role in brand recollection and boost the brand value of a business.
The Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 (‘Act’) does not define a sound trademark. The Act has explicitly stated that the trademark has to be capable of being graphically represented. Thus, a sound graphically represented by a series of musical notes without or with words can get protection under the Act. Sound trademarks are non-conventional trademarks.
The Trademarks Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’) explicitly recognises the sound as a trademark category. Due to the recognition of sound trademarks under the Rules, businesses will receive more exclusivity for their marketing and branding methods to attract, allure and appeal to consumers in a highly competitive market.
The following may not be registered as sound marks under the Act:
Sound mark registration is not mandatory under the Act. However, if a company product has unique music and is popular with the public, it is better to register the sound mark to avoid infringement. The following is the process for registering a sound mark in India:
The documents required for registering the sound mark in India are as follows:
Below are a few examples of registered sound trademarks:
Yahoo was the first sound mark to be given trademark registration in India, and the ICICI was the first sound mark to be registered by an Indian entity. Some other registered sound trademarks in India include:
The following are the benefits of registering a sound mark in India:
The sound trademark protects the jingle or music associated with an entity. Once the sound trademark is registered, the entity has the right to sue anyone who violates those rights. Thus, if third parties use the registered sound mark without approval, the owner of the sound mark can file a case of infringement against such persons and prevent them from using the sound mark.
The registration of a sound mark grants the right of exclusivity to the owner. Exclusivity means that only the owner has the right to sell or use the products or services with which the sound trademark is associated.
A registered sound trademark is a solid legal basis upon which an entity can increase the status of its business in the market. The registration can support the entity and its business to make a sound mark global in the corporate world.
Builds image of the business
Sound, jingle, or music associated with an entity resonates well with the consumers and reflects the brand’s image. People remember the sound or jingle of a company, and thus, it helps boost the popularity of the company.
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