Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy
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Nontraditional Marks

What is a nontraditional 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 “nontraditional" 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 nontraditional marks.

Jurisdictions around the world are increasingly providing some form of protection to nontraditional 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 nontraditional trademarks may function as trademarks and, therefore, in appropriate circumstances should be entitled to trademark recognition, registration and protection.

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