The IUP Journal of Law Review
Registration of Sound and Shape Marks as Non-Conventional Trademarks: Requirements and Challenges

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct' 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Law Review
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJLR031022
Author Name : Aishwarya Vatsa
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 09



The trademarks of brands have become their identities; consumers identify brands by their marks. Thus, trademarks have become a key tool to denote a company's identity. A good trademark carries its own image and brand recognition, attaches a distinct face value to the products, and becomes the essence of competition. The modern Trademark Law reflects some novel developments as to the make and appearance of 'marks' themselves. The 'modern market' is in the busy process of inventing new products with 'specific odor' , 'special touch' and 'unique sound' in order to present more 'sensory' consumer goods to the 'modern customer'. Sound and shape marks are two evolving dimensions of non-conventional trademarks. Graphical representation and functionality pose a challenge in the registration of such marks. The paper aims at discussing the subject matter, registration, and possible challenges in the registration of sound and shape marks by analyzing Indian and contemporary laws.


In the globalized era, the outreach of businesses and their products is not limited to their local territory; businesses today gain global recognition and reputation, thanks to liberalization and online marketplaces. Although these novel trademarks have not yet reached a high level of acceptance in all jurisdictions, their use is common in the contemporary market.1

A sound mark employs audio to mark a product, the logic behind it being that a consumer may easily associate the sound with the product. Audio becomes the identity of its product, engaging the auditory senses of the consumer. A sound, in addition to the mark of the product, might serve the purpose more efficiently. The primary function of a mark is to identify the source of a product; the sound associated with the product would instil in the consumer a sense of identification with the product. For example, a short tune is played whenever the mark of a cookie comes on the television, it has become supplementary to the mark, gradually establishing a sense of identification