What are the Sound Trademarks?

Sound trademark is one among the kinds of trademarks under the Trademark Act. Under this sort of trademark a person have to submit some sounds with graphical representation. Sound trademarks are very less popular in India and there are only few who have registered under sound trademark.

What are Sound Trademarks?

Sound trademark is the unique identification of commercial source of items, goods and service with the help of sound. In simple terms, one can say that the sound that represents brand, the sound that let us know the origin of company. To illustrate, whenever we switch on the Nokia device a guitar voice comes and we can recognise it from far away that a Nokia mobile is switched on. This unique sound that itself describe brand, is used for sound trademark and to protect the sound from infringement, therefore, it is necessary that it should be protected by trademark under the Trademark Act.

What are the benefits of using Sound Trademark?

The sound remains in mind more than the text we study in books and web. There are various benefits of registering a sound trademark; some of them are as follow:

  • Exclusivity: The concept of sound trademark is new phenomenon in India and very few people acquainted with it, that makes your company exclusive in the market as people like innovation and new technology fits in mind faster. Registering logo of your company under sound trademark makes it more presentable and unique from others.
  • Protection against infringement: If your sound logo is registered under Trademark Act, it will protect company from infringement. It gives you a right to sue the other party in case they try to copy that sound or try to use for promoting the goods/products that does not belong to your company.

What are the essential conditions for registering Sound Mark?

  • The sound file must be in MP3 format.
  • The recording submitted for trademark should not be more than 30 seconds.
  • Initially candidate had to register application using graphical representation/depiction or typing out the melody.

Who has already registered under the Sound Trademark?

In U.S there are many companies who have registered themselves under the sound trademark but there are few Indian companies who have registered themselves under the Sound Trademark. This shows that the concept is very less popular in India as compared to other countries. Being the first in the race “YAHOO” became the first Indian company to register under the Sound Trademark. Sound of Nokia is also protected under sound Trademark; ICICI became first Indian bank to register under Trademark. (Ta-Dum) voice of Netflix is also protected under the sound Trademark.

Why India has not granted sound mark since 2003?

Trademark office was hesitant to do because it was not sure that “uniqueness” of sound can be explained. Many companies tries to register sound as trademark but fails to do so as many of the sounds are somewhere similar or the company finds it difficult to translate it into word notes, hence they are not able to fulfil the basic condition of sound trademark i.e. it should be unique and their word representation. 

Conclusion: –

Although the concept of sound trademark is not popular in India to that extend but initiative have to be taken to make it usual as our mind reads musical representation faster than the visuals. The concept will help in economic growth of the country as it will help many small scale business and start-ups. Government should come forward to promote sound trademark by various methods such as awareness camps, publishing information about sound trademarks etc.

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