Non-Traditional Trademarks

Non-Traditional Trademarks

– Lead Office : USPTO –


The TM5 “Indexing of Non-Traditional Trademarks” Project is designed to improve and potentially harmonize the TM5 Partners’ methods of searching and retrieving non-traditional trademarks. This project aims to assist trademark right holders or others who search national trademark registries in multiple jurisdictions.

The term “non-traditional trademarks” refers to those trademarks that include elements other than character data (words, letters, numerals, special characters) and designs. These other elements can include, but are not limited to, trademarks that comprise scents, sounds, motion, tactile characteristics, holographic images, colors, and three-dimensional (3D) marks. The TM5 Partners currently search and retrieve these non-traditional trademarks in a variety of ways which appear to differ office to office.

Through this project, the TM5 Partners will learn more about one another’s methods of indexing of non-traditional trademarks, by coming together to share their respective best practices. Based on this exchange, the TM5 Partners will then work together to develop a common, recommended indexing scheme drawing from the available indexing schemes.

Once a common indexing scheme has been developed, the TM5 Partners may encourage any interested national IP Office to adopt it for use in search and retrieval of non-traditional trademarks. Part of this project includes a guide for examining 3D marks, including applications requirements and examination guidelines for such marks.

Currently, the TM5 Partners are in the process of developing a guide for examining 3D marks that will include application requirements.