What Trade marks may be registered in India?

A Trade mark is a mark used or proposed to be used for or in connection with goods or services to discriminate such goods or services from other goods or services. A Mark can any brand, heading, text, word, sign letter, numeral, slogan, shape, base line, color or combination of any of these.

Following marks can be registered under the Indian Trade mark law:-

  • Names
  • Invented / Coined Words 
  • Numerals
  • Letters
  • Devices
  • Slogans
  • Signature
  • 3D Mark
  • Combination of colors
  • Shape of goods
  • Sound
  • Smell Marks

To register the mark as a Trade mark, the mark must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be distinctive and not descriptive in respect of its goods and services.
  • It must not be indistinguishable or similar to a mark previously registered or any pending prior application for registration
  • It must not be prohibited by the Trade Marks Act

What marks are not registrable as a trade mark in India?

The Trade marks which are not registrable in India are those which lack distinctiveness, and which are likely to cause deception or confusion in the mind of the public/ consumer

Besides the above, other marks which are not registrable as trade marks in India are as follow:

  • Trade marks that are likely to hurt religious sentiments of any community;
  • Trade marks that comprises any scandalous or obscene matter;
  • Trade marks the use of which is prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, e.g. the Red Cross, the National Emblem etc.


  • Trade marks for the shape of goods which is purely functional or necessary to obtain technical result or which gives substantial value to the goods.