A "trademark" is a sign that is used to distinguish one's goods or services from those provided by others. As the economy, culture, and the market diversify, the types of trademarks may now include a packaging design, three-dimensional object, sound, or even a scent. In the Republic of China, a trademark refers to a sign consisting of words, designs, symbols, colors, three-dimensional shapes, motions, holograms, sounds, or any combination thereof. In addition, the minimum requirement of the trademark laws of every country is that a trademark must be recognizable to the general consumers as a trademark and is indicative of the source of the goods or services. Most generic names or direct or obvious descriptions of goods do not possess the characteristics of a trademark. (§18, Trademark Act)
Legally, the registration of a trademark accords the right to eliminate another party's use of the same trademark or the right to license the same trademark to someone else. In addition to traditional trademarks labeled on goods or their packaging and containers, trademarks may also include some special forms such as three-dimensional, color and sound trademarks.
Three-dimensional trademark: A three-dimensional trademark is a sign consisting of a three-dimensional shape formed in three-dimensional space, whereby consumers are capable of distinguishing the sources of different goods or services. For instance, if the shape of goods or the shape of their packaging or containers can identify the source of the goods, it can be registered as a three-dimensional trademark.
Color trademark: A color trademark is a single color or combination of colors that is applied, in whole or in part, to the surface of goods or the container or to the place of business where services are provided. If a color itself can adequately identify the source of goods or services, not in combination with a word, figure or symbol, it may be registrable as a color trademark.
Sound trademark: A sound trademark is a sound that can adequately allow relevant consumers to identify the source of certain goods or services. For instance, a short advertising jingle, rhythm, human speech, peal, bell ringing, or the call of an animal can be registered as a sound trademark.
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