If you haven’t already found our 3D Trade Marks quiz, have a go and see whether you can guess which registrations were allowed and which were refused.
Although a trademark is conventionally recognised as a word and/or logo, in theory trademarks can protect almost anything that is capable of being represented graphically, including three-dimensional shapes.
Whilst we would generally recommend protecting the appearance of a product by obtaining a design registration, you may additionally consider securing trademark protection. This will provide indefinite protection, provided the renewal dates are met every ten years.
However, it can be difficult to achieve trademark protection for a three dimensional shape, in the absence of acquired distinctiveness and use. A few pointers are given below, and these differ from the rules that are generally followed for obtaining design registration.
How can I secure trademark protection for my three-dimensional shape?
- The trademark must be distinctive, and not commonly used or generic for the relevant goods/services.
- The three-dimensional shape must not be dictated by its technical function, i.e. the functionality behind the shape should not be depicted in the representation.
- The trademark must be capable of being represented graphically.
- Combining the three-dimensional shape with additional elements will add distinctiveness and reduce the likelihood of encountering an objection, i.e. a brand name or logo could be included. Colour will also add distinctiveness.
- It may be necessary to submit evidence of use in order to secure registration of some three-dimensional trademarks to show that a high level of consumer recognition has been reached.
So why not check out our 3D Trade Marks quiz? If you already have, see if you can improve your score in the light of the information above!
If you are considering protecting your three dimensional shape as a trade mark, talk to the team at Albright IP who will be able to use their experience to ensure you obtain the broadest trade mark rights in a cost effective way.