Can sound be protected as a Trademark?

We all know what all can be protected under Trademark Act in India, but seldom we hear about sound trademark registration, can there be a proprietary right over any sound, yes! We can have a sound trademark as well. The trademark protection is now not just limited to 2D or 3D representation, word or device but also to a sound mark.

With new Trademark Rules 2017, the stand over the sound trademarks along with the process of sound Trademark registration has become more clearer and of-course easy to process.

The new rules have expressly made the process of registration for sound trademarks clear. The sound trademarks now can be applied online by uploading a MP3 file comprising the sound of the mark.

The new Trademark Rules 2017 clearly states that “Where an application for the registration of a trademark consists of a sound as a trademark, the reproduction of the same shall be submitted in the MP3 format not exceeding thirty seconds’ length recorded on a medium which allows for easy and clearly audible replaying accompanied with a graphical representation of its notations”

Further, The trademark application for the sound mark is filed in same manner as it is filed for any other form of trademark and it will also be examined. In order to secure the sound trademark, the sound must be inherently distinctive and is capable of identifying the goods and services to which it relates.

A sound trademark may also get examined and receive the Trademark objection as well like any other trademark.

Some of the famous sound trademarks are of MGM Entertainment-Roaring Lion, Yahoo! Sound, Britannia Industries four bells sound. Etc.

Now with the clarity in the registration of sound trademarks and also the digitization of Indian Trademark registry, it is expected that registration for sound trademark may also increase.