Why can Nike only use swoosh? Why can only apple use the logo of bitten apple? Is there any legal protection given to these brands? is there a need for getting the trademarks registered? are they legally secured and have their infringement rights? Are the commercial identity of the brands important?

Yes, absolutely these FAQs are having a integral node within them. 

The answer to these types of question is simple, i.e. use of Intellectual Property Rights. But, what exactly are Intellectual Property Rights? We can say that these are the rights provided to people for their work of the mind, i.e. inventions, any sign or symbol, or any artistic work. There are mainly three types of Intellectual Property Rights, Patents, Trademarks and Copyright.

 The patent is an exclusive right used by the inventor over his invention, which is how his invention can be used. Copyright provides protection to literary and artistic works, and Trademarks is a sign or a symbol that helps differentiate between the goods or services of one brand from the other.

Lets further perusal the Trademark and is available alternatives.



“A Trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises”. Generally, trademarks can be a word or a combination of words, numerals, three-dimensional figures, or sounds or fragrances. 

Intellectual property rights protect trademarks. A trademark can be owned by an individual, company or an organization; it can be located on a packet, voucher or on the product itself. It is recognized as an Intellectual Property legally. The symbols, ™ and ® can represent Trademark and can only be used by the owner that is being registered. Trademarks can also be used by anyone other than owner if they obtain it under licensing agreement, for example- Bullyland is producing smurfs figures because Bullyland obtained the license. If an unauthorized person uses Trademark to produce goods, it will be called as Brand Piracy. The owner can take legal action if his right is infringed.

At the national/ regional level, a trademark can be possessed through registration by filing an application to register at the national/regional office and then paying the fees. A particular trademark can be possessed for ten years, but it can be renewed indefinitely on the payment of additional fees, the order from court enforces the rights.

There are five main types of Trademark-

·   Generic Mark - It does not qualify for the Trademark unless it is more specific. For example, Pizzeria.

·    Descriptive Mark- It identifies characteristics of goods or services, the marks under this type can be identified as Trademark.

·    Suggestive Mark- It suggests something about the goods or service, but under this category, the mark should convey the secondary meaning. For example, Jaguar, which means speed and agility.

·      Mark- It is a name or logo that is different from anything that exists. The Trademark under this category can easily be obtained. For example- The Nike swoosh.

·       Arbitrary Mark- It includes a term or mark with a wide known meaning, but in the case of that mark, the meaning of the word is different. The best example is Apple.


Though the process for obtaining a Trademark is way easier than that of patents, if you are not willing to wait or spend money on having a trademark, then you can go for its alternatives. There are various alternatives to trademarks, but here we will be going to discuss some main alternatives. There are three main types of alternatives which are widely used, these are-

·       DO NOTHING- It means you will have to do nothing like registering and paying fees for registration. However, this may have some pro and cons. The Pros of this kind of alternative are that you will only gain incentives if you do advertising and rewards based on the market. However, cons for these alternatives are also present, i.e. only companies with a big budget can go for it as it requires much advertising.

·       RAPID PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE- The best example would be Fashion industry, in this industry trademarks are mostly not obtained, but new products with the new design are introduced rapidly like a new designer suit or a new look handbag. However, the incentives are low because you are not creating a long term brand and because of that if you will develop new product every time, you have a new mark, and then you have to redevelop the goodwill.

T   TRADITION AND INDUSTRIAL NORMS - Under this alternative, incentives are generated by signing the agreement between the industries, for example, the industries may agree not to use each other marks, this will be a low-cost process, we can see in the fashion industry that there are copied items, but big industries least copy the ideas. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee of stability under these alternatives.


In modern days, companies need to safeguard their brand through Intellectual Property Rights. Companies or individuals or organizations acquire Trademark. Trademark has its importance. We tend to deal with trademarks daily, unknowingly. 

We can say that trademarks are a useful tool for communication; they say a lot about its value and goodwill.

Moreover, in a world full of magnificent imagination and breathtaking inventions, having a plethora of brands around you, Trademark helps you find a brand you are searching for. There are various alternatives to intellectual property rights, and you need not register them. Furthermore, the central positive aspect of the Trademark is that it does not expire, but you have to renew it after ten years.

-Raghav Khandelwal,

2nd year, ICFAI University

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  1. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
    'No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.'
    'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.'
    'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.'
    I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different.
    I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor.
    Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality.
    Where the great would not be constrained by the small!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this worth able content with us. The concept taken here will be useful for my future programs and i will surely implement them in my study. Keep blogging article like this.
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