Shape Trademark in India

In India, a trademark can be used for a distinctive shape of goods, packaging, or any three-dimensional item that can be graphically represented. The battle between Nestle and Cadbury is a well-known issue involving form trademarks. Nestle had successfully fought Cadbury’s attempt to protect the purple hue used in its packaging, while Cadbury had successfully fought Nestle’s attempt to trademark the four-fingered chocolate bar design. We’ll explore shape trademarks in India in this article.

Shape Trademark in India

Requirement for Shape Trademark Registration

Any distinctive shape of goods or their packaging, as well as any three-dimensional item capable of being graphically depicted, can be registered as a trademark. 

  • The shape of products that are determined by the nature of the goods;
  • The shape of items required to get a technical result;
  • The shape of things, adds significant value to them.

Shape Resulting from the Nature of Goods

Any shape that is a result of the nature of the item itself is ineligible for trademark. The purpose of this section is to retain any basic shapes of things – for public use – free of exclusivity.

Shape Necessary to Obtain Technical Result

A trademark cannot be used for any shape of good that is required to achieve a technical objective. As a result, any shape that is only based on the shape of a product and is attributable to the technical outcome is ineligible for trademark.

Lego, for example, had a trademark for the three-dimensional shape of a red lego brick. Mega Brands filed a trademark infringement suit against Lego, claiming that the shape of the block was required to achieve a technical outcome. Mega Brands said that two rows of studs on the upper side of the brick were required in order for it to fit with other lego bricks. Mega Brands prevailed in the European Courts, and the trademark of Lego was found illegal.Shape Trademark in India

Shape Giving Substantial Value to the Goods

The reason for not granting trademark protection to shapes that add significant value to goods is that “aesthetic shapes” are not eligible for registration. As a result, any shape that is more appealing to the eye than the standard shape of a product cannot be trademarked. What causes customers to choose the particular form over competing shapes, putting aside any value attributed to better materials utilized or another technical or functional characteristic, must be evaluated as a criterion for evaluating the considerable value of the items.