Any musical note, with or sans words can be trademarked in India. The practice of trademarking sound is popular in the West, particularly in the United States and with each passing day, the practice is picking up in India as well. Trademark Act in India provides for protection of graphical representation of sound and also those sounds which are in the form of musical notes. Once the sound as acquired distinctive sign, it is eligible to be trademarked. For a common consumer, the sound should be distinctive enough for him to relate that to a particular good service. There is no particular law which states that sound marks be excluded from registration but instances of registering a sound mark is rare, particularly in India.
There are certain clauses which how one can apply for sound mark registration.
First and foremost, the applicant must mention that the application is for sound mark registration. Otherwise in all likelihood, it will be considered a word or at best a device mark.
There must be a graphical representation of sound mark divided by measures and showing, clef, musical notes and rest all other nuances. The registration of a sound mark very well depends on whether it has become distinctive or not. The application must prove it with substantial evidence that the consumer will be able to perceive the sound as something exclusively related with a particular service.
Now that we know about what requires to be done to register a sound mark, let us also know about what all sounds cannot be registered according to the Trademark Act of India
- All those simple pieces of music comprising just one or two notes
- Common songs used as chimes
- All forms of popular music already in use in entertainment industry and other services
- Nursery rhymes for children cannot be marked for products and services aimed at children
- Music which isclosely associated with a particular region or country for a unique set of goods or services native to that area.