A trademark can be a word or words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these elements, to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one party from those of another.

In everyday life you will know and use many examples of each of these types of brands:


The owners of these brands know the value of trademark registration so that competitors can’t copy their branding without the owner being able to sue for infringement. They also understand that these brands are valuable assets to their businesses.

What Can You Trademark?

Trademarks can also be smells, sounds, non-English words, numbers and even musical jingles.

You have probably noticed how people are attracted to famous brands, and how those brands can cut across borders, cultures and languages, so that what might originate in one part of the world can be used and recognised on the other side of the world.

Some of those brands are Apple, McDonald’s and Revlon. When someone talks about any of these brands, you instantly know whether they represent products or services you are willing to pay a certain price for.

Trademarks can be used on products and services, and often on a combination of those.

As far as the public is concerned, trademarks help prevent confusion in the marketplace, so that a purchaser can make a decision to purchase a product or service based on what they know of the brand or what they have heard or read about the brand.

From a business owner’s perspective, this is of huge value – because often a purchaser is willing to pay a premium to purchase the ‘must have’ brand.

TIP: Check with a trademark specialist on whether your brand can be registered as a trademark – don’t assume anything