Most of us know about the common types of trademarks. With business names and logos being the most commonly used as trademarks by businesses. But a trademark can be anything. I can almost hear you thinking “what’s anything?” A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device (or a combo of those things) that distinguishes goods and services that indicates the source. There are a lot of things outside of words and logos that function as non-traditional trademarks.

Types of Non-Traditional Trademarks

Sounds are on the list of things that function as a trademark.  Matter of fact there’s actually a lot of popular sounds that qualify as a trademark. For instance, those chimes you hear when you’re watching your favorite show on NBC. Trademark! When viewers hear it, we know we’re watching a wonderful NBC show. But wait, there’s another popular one I’m sure you’ve heard while watching a movie a time or two. That roaring lion sound? Yup! That’s a trademark of MGN studios. Even the good ol’ Netflix sound that indicates you’re opening the app. There are SO many!

But wait, there’s more! Smells can function as a trademark as well. I would even say my dog Rocky has a trademark smell. It’s not a good one but when I smell it, I know it’s Rocky for sure. Speaking of Rocky, his smell may not be cute but his face is. So I put it on our All Up In Yo Business merch. Check it out here.  Back to trademark smells.  The smell of Play-Doh is a registered trademark scent for Hasibarro.  Technically the trademark is a scent of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance with slight overtones of cherry. To me, it smells like basic ol’ Play-Doh. But I think that’s what they were going for.  When we smell that smell we instantly think of Play-Doh.


Tune in to this week’s episode of All Up In Yo’ Business to learn more types of non-traditional trademarks. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more All Up In Yo’ Business! 

Want more information on trademarks? Check out: Trademark Registration Process Explained.




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