Is there such a thing as a Sound Mark?

03/07/06

Well, yes, apparently. OHIM (the body responsible for trade mark and design registrations throughout the EU) is determined to move with the times and has registered approximately 40 'sounds' as Community Trade Marks (CTM), increasingly being referred to as Sound Marks.

The rules that apply maintain that the sound must be filed as a sonogram and an MP3 file. The sonogram must be "clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective and concise" (as must any graphic representation of a proposed mark), although, until recently, sound mark applications have fallen short of achieving these objectives.

Probably the most famous sound mark registered to date is that of Tarzan's yell. Initially refused in 2004, a second successful application in the same year found that it did indeed comply with all the stipulations and so the mark was granted to Edward Rice Burroughs, Inc. I think we can all agree that it meets the 'distinctive' criteria.

If you would like any further information regarding the registration of a sound as a CTM, please contact Sanderson & Co.

Tarzan's Trade Mark Yell:

 

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