Filter

Open

ABCs of Trademarks

02

MAR

2021

Have you ever wondered whether plain alphabets can function as trademarks for goods or for services?

Well, the quick answer is YES. A single letter alphabet can function as a trademark provided it is stylised and is made distinctive.

Such a mark can be registered as a trademark. Let’s look at some well-known single letter trademarks:

The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Group has adopted a stylised alphabet “S” as its trademark for its hotels and hospitality services.

Suzuki Motor Corporation has also adopted the alphabet “S” for its motor vehicles.

Another age-old company Singer Corporation has been using the alphabet “S’ as its trademark for its sewing machines.

What is important to note is that the registration of the alphabet does not give exclusivity to use the alphabet to the registered owner. The registration only gives the owner exclusivity to use the alphabet in the distinctive stylised form as registered, while allowing other traders to use even the same alphabet in a different stylised form.

Let’s look at some other single letter trademarks.

Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan has adopted the stylised version of the letter “T” as its trademark for its motor vehicles.

Another motor company Tata Motors Limited of India also uses the alphabet “T” as its trademark for its motor vehicles.

Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan uses the letter “M” in a stylised version as its trademark for motor vehicles.

Similarly, Honda Motor Company, Limited and Hyundai Motors both use the letter ’H” in a different stylised form as their respective trademarks for motor vehicles.

As emphasised earlier, any trader is free to use any alphabet as its trademark for goods and for services but the proposed trademark must not be deceptively or confusingly similar to the earlier registered single alphabet trademark.

Another issue to note is that if the stylised alphabet is original in nature and sufficient efforts have been made to create the artwork subsisting within the trademark, that artwork may also be entitled for copyright (the type of intellectual property rights that protects artistic work).

Can you recall any other well-known single alphabet used as a trademark? Is it mostly brands of motor vehicles that select alphabets to represent them as a trademark? Go on, look at the brands existing around you on a daily basis and spot the ones with single alphabet marks! Share them with us at kass@kass.asia. We’d be happy to hear from you.

Disclaimer: The trademarks represented above are the intellectual property rights of their respective owners and KASS makes no claim whatsoever to the marks. The marks are used for educational purposes only.

P. Kandiah is the Founder and Director of KASS International, an established intellectual property firm with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar. Mr. Kandiah has vast experience in assisting local and international clients in obtaining patents, trademarks and industrial design rights on a global scale, and specializes in identifying patentable inventions, designing around patented technology, creating new products together with clients, and advising on the commercialization of IP Rights, franchising and licensing strategies. For more information, visit www.kass.asia or drop an e-mail to kass@kass.asia.

About the Firm

KASS International Sdn. Bhd.
Address Suite 8-13A-2, Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Jalan Liku, Off Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel 60-3-2284 7872
Fax 60-3-2284 1125
Email hello@kass.asia
Link www.kass.asia

Related Articles

07
NOV
2022
NFTs: What Are They And Who Are The Key Players Filing Patents for Them?
07
NOV
2022
Ubisoft becomes first major gaming company to launch in-game NFTs… Post Malone buys two Bored...

Read More

02
SEP
2022
Practical Patents for Pets?
02
SEP
2022
Who doesn’t love animals? Whether it’s the common “kucing” (cat) or the r...

Read More

26
AUG
2022
ASEAN and Australia: A Strategic Partnership
26
AUG
2022
In 1969, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand signed the ASEAN Declaration and ...

Read More

02
AUG
2022
Product Placement in Films: To Place or Not to Place?
02
AUG
2022
Brands and products can be strategically incorporated into films as a subtle form of advertising. Th...

Read More

08
JUL
2022
The Eagle Has Landed, into a Dispute
08
JUL
2022
Guangzhou Light Industry & Ors v Lintas Superstore – Civil Suit No.: BKI-22NCVC-139/12-2016 ...

Read More

01
JUN
2022
Why Logo Design is Crucial to Business Success
01
JUN
2022
A logo is an important aspect of a business’s makeup and plays a critical role in promoting pu...

Read More

05
MAY
2022
Food at Your Doorstep – Just One Click Away!
05
MAY
2022
Remember the days when we ignored our cravings for our favorite meal because of the thought of havin...

Read More

11
FEB
2022
How to Pick a Diamond in the Rough: 3 Qualities of a Successful Franchisee
11
FEB
2022
A franchisee can make or break your business. This has become even more applicable in the aftermath ...

Read More

07
FEB
2022
Franchises after the Pandemic: Boon or Bane?
07
FEB
2022
The COVID-19 vaccines have arrived on our shores. If effectively rolled out and deployed on schedule...

Read More

05
JAN
2022
Are Cover Songs an Act of Infringement?
05
JAN
2022
Cover songs have always been a major part of music culture, with both famous and amateur singers acr...

Read More

05
JAN
2022
Cool Influencers vs Cruel Infringers: Do KOLs Have IP Rights?
05
JAN
2022
I still remember the day I told my mom that my friends and I were going to shoot a short film and up...

Read More

03
DEC
2021
Top 3 Reasons to Register a Patent for Your Invention
03
DEC
2021
Say “Hey Google, turn off the lights” and Google Assistant will switch off the lights in...

Read More

11
NOV
2021
Gloves, Musang King Durians and IP Rights
11
NOV
2021
“TOP GLOVE’S R&D arm ranks second highest among Malaysian patent applicants in 2020&rdqu...

Read More

15
SEP
2021
COVID-19 Pandemic: IP Issues & Challenges
15
SEP
2021
While the COVID-19 pandemic enrages the world, there are frantic efforts to produce effective and sa...

Read More

09
AUG
2021
Are You Taking Advantage of RCEP Provisions?
09
AUG
2021
Businesses have started to multiply their corporate assets in the ASEAN countries by taking advantag...

Read More

08
JUL
2021
Netflix: A Binging Addiction Surrounding Intellectual Property
08
JUL
2021
To stream, binge and watch. These days, audiences in search of entertainment have one place in mind ...

Read More

25
MAY
2021
Strange But Unique Inventions
25
MAY
2021
Who would have thought that in 2021, wearing a mask would actually be a part of everyday life? A new...

Read More

26
APR
2021
Voila! A Chic Hijab!
26
APR
2021
CHIC?? VOILA?? What do these two words have to do with a hijab? Well, in this case – plenty! I...

Read More

07
APR
2021
World-Changing Women Wonders
07
APR
2021
The field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is often male-dominated and studies sh...

Read More

02
FEB
2021
Poking Fun at a Trademark, and Making $$$ from that – Is it Infringement?
02
FEB
2021
If you’re going to make a joke about someone’s brand, you had best make sure they have a...

Read More

22
JAN
2021
What is Copyright Notice, and Why Bother with It?
22
JAN
2021
A copyright notice may seem like little more than superfluous text tacked on to the end of a website...

Read More

09
NOV
2020
Let’s Make Functional Foods Fully Functioning!
09
NOV
2020
First you look at it, next you smell it and then you take a bite of it. For centuries, consumers hav...

Read More

15
OCT
2020
Non-Traditional Trademarks
15
OCT
2020
It is a great time to stand out and be different. Thanks to our new Trademarks Act 2019, individuals...

Read More

31
AUG
2020
Imaginations Vs Innovation Vs Patents
31
AUG
2020
“What? A card for paying money?” This is how people might have reacted when they were f...

Read More

02
AUG
2020
Copyright and Commissioning: Everything You Need to Know
02
AUG
2020
Commissioning has been described as the “lifeblood of the artistic world”, implying that...

Read More

  • 1
  • 2