What can be trademarked?

A trademark can be taken for different categories. So it is essential to know what can be trademarked. Any mark that differentiates the business activity of one person from another and can be graphically depicted can be trademarked. It can be any item from the list given below:
  • Name
The name can be further categorized as a product name, business name, name of any individual, or surnames. But such a name needs to be used for any business, trading, or services. It can be in any particular text, color, and style.
  • Product name
Many companies get trademark registration for the name of their products. For example, “McVEGGIE”, “McMuffin”, “MCCHICKEN”, “MCMASALA”, etc. All these are product names of McDonald’s Corporation on whose behalf the trademark has been registered.
  • Business name
A trademark can be registered in the name of the business or company. For example “McDONALD’S”, “PARLE”,” RELIANCE SHOPPE”, “RELIANCE POWER”, “ RELIANCEFRESH”.  These all are business names that are trademarked.
  • Name of a person
The name of a person can also be trademarked if the persons work through such a name. Or such a person lets his name to be used by any other person. In this case, the applicant has to get NOC from the person whose name has been used. These types of trademarks are very popular among celebrities. For example “SHAH RUKH KHAN”, “KATRINA KAIF”. They have trademarked their name.
  • Surnames
Running a business on the behalf of the family name is common in India. Trademark on surnames on which business is conducted can be taken. For example “TATA”, “Mahindra”, “BAJAJ”. But Ministry does not enable the trademark on very common surnames such as “Singh”.
  • Abbreviations or Numbers as a Trademark
One can have a trademark on letters, abbreviations, or a combination that can be used for business and that are able to differentiate the goods or services offered by one person from another’s. For example “555”, “777”, “IBM”, “BMW”.
  • Logo or symbols
If you have a particular logo for your brand or product or service, then that logo can be trademarked under the Trademark Act. It is also called as “Device”. It must be unique. Such symbols build their own identity and there is no need to explain it with its brand name.
  • Tag line
The tag line is a slogan used to describe the thought behind the product or service. Hence nowadays, many businesses have a tagline for their products or services. It adds a dramatic effect. As they are easy and catchy, people remember them quickly. It showcases the brand and hence it can be trademarked.
  • Shapes
A trademark can be chosen which is capable of graphical representation which includes shapes. The shape of goods that are to be trademarked must not be the natural shape of those goods. Further, the 3D shapes of products can also be trademarked.
  • Packaging
The label or packaging of a product can also be registered to be trademarked under the Trademark Act. If the packaging is used to identify the product in day to day life then one won’t be able to get a trademark on such packaging. It must contain a distinguishing design, a color which gives a new identity to the product. For example, The label or packaging of Dairy Milk is a registered trademark.


Anything which can be represented graphically can apply for the trademark. It must have a unique identity that distinguishes the product or service fro

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