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What is a Trademark?

A trademark may consist of any signs, provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

This is their principal function as provided in Article 4.1 of the Spanish Trademarks Law (Law 17/2001). But trademarks may have other functions:

  • Indicate the commercial origin of the product.
  • Be used as an advertisement.
  • Give information about the product.
  • Synthesize the prestige or the manufacturer's know-how.

On condition that the trademark can be represented graphically, the sign can be composed of...

  • Words and word combinations.
  • Images, designs, symbols and drawings.
  • Letters, numerals and their combinations.
  • Three-dimensional shapes, including wrapping, packaging and the shape of the product.
  • Sounds, if they can be represented graphically, for example by the musical notation.
  • Any combination of the signs which are above-mentioned.
  • The combination of these signs allows companies to use different types of trademarks in their economic traffic:

    These are trademarks that are combinations of letters and numbers, words, including fantasy and arbitrary words.

    Trademarks composed by graphic symbols, logos, designs, etc..

    the trademarks consist of a combination between word and graphic marks.

    Trademarks that consist on three-dimensional graphics that can be distinctive: their packaging, their product shape, etc..

    the trademarks consist in a succession of distinctive sounds that could be represented graphically through a musical notation.