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Non-Traditional Marks

What is a non-traditional mark?

Traditionally, trademarks consisted of words, logos or graphic designs applied to goods or packaging.

Over time, other elements have been used to identify the source of a good or service. Such “non-traditional" marks may consist of:

  • product designs or configurations (also referred to as Trade Dress)
  • colors
  • scents
  • sounds
  • tastes
  • touch
  • motions

In addition, rights in moving images—dubbed motion marks, which can combine colors, sounds and aspects of product designs—can be considered non-traditional marks.

Jurisdictions around the world are increasingly providing some form of protection to non-traditional marks. Among the most commonly protected marks are product designs, packaging and product configuration, collectively referred to as “trade dress."

INTA's position

INTA advocates that non-traditional trademarks may function as trademarks and, therefore, in appropriate circumstances should be entitled to trademark recognition, registration and protection.

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