Trademark as the name suggests, helps in marking goods and services by distinguishing it from one another on the basis of its origin from a specific trader. Being a Intellectual Property, Trademark ensures that customers have enough faith to invest in a good/service after being acquainted with the source and quality, for that matter. Moreover, such mark safeguards logos, names, numbers, and even smell, colour, sound relating to one’s business brand. Hence the likelihood of confusion among customers is reduced and the scope of free ride by anyone on the goodwill created by a particular brand is curbed. It is to be noted that ‘Distinctiveness’ can be achieved either through an ‘inherent’ manner by opting for name which is unique and dissimilar or ‘acquiring’ it over the years with usage, to an extent that people from generations identify and trust the brand name.
The Trade Marks Act of 1999, advocates distinct uniqueness and graphical representation. Further, protection is given to registered trademark for a term of ten years, given subsequent renewal of the same. When a mark lacks certain distinct character, or indicates geographical origin, quality, quantity of the good/service it falls under Absolute Grounds for refusal of registering the trademark under the Act.
Spectrum of trademark distinctiveness which was developed after the landmark judgment given in Abercombie & Fitch Co. Vs Huntington World Inc., classifies and determines the strength of a mark using several categories, along with that it provides a rough estimation to traders, brands who opt for trademark registration.
The paper hence analyses different categories of distinctive spectrum and measures to avert refusal in registering the trademark. This includes reviewing of relevant judicial precedents pertaining to the subject matter.