Under the Trade Mark Act, any sign which can be represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of another is prima facie registrable as a trade mark, subject to the “absolute” and “relative” grounds for refusal.
A mark may consist of:
- Words (for example, KODAK for cameras or MERCEDES for cars)
- Slogans (for example, JUST DO IT for Nike sportswear)
- Designs (for example, a harp for Guinness stout)
- Letters (for example, DBS in respect of banking services)
- Numerals (for example, 501 jeans)
- Internet domain names (for example, EBAY.com)
- The shape of goods or their packaging (for example, the shape of a Coca Cola bottle)
- Sounds (for example, the Intel four-note musical jingle)
- Colours (for example, Heinz’s registration of the colour turquoise for use on tins of baked beans)
- Moving digital images (for example, the Intel “leap ahead” animated logo).