Can you guess the candy brand from their shape? We’re betting you can. Behold the power of the “shape mark”.
Halloween has seen an incredible surge in popularity in Australia this year. Who knows why. Maybe it’s the steady stream of Halloween-themed episodes of our favourite TV shows. Or maybe we’ve all just realised that it’s a whole bunch of fun. Either way, CANDY!!!
So, anyway, I’m readying my household for the steady stream of sugar-seeking torpedoes headed for my door this Friday and I got to thinking: how many brands of chocolate or lollies or biscuits could we recognise if we reached into our trick-or-treat buckets without looking? How many would you be able to recognise visually without their wrapper?
I’m betting a lot.
And it’s all because of the power of shapes.
Trade marks literally do come in all shapes and sizes. Not only can you trade mark a word, a phrase or an image, you can also trade mark a shape. IP Australia recognises that some products’ shapes are so distinctive or unusual enough that they are able to function as a trade mark. Don’t believe they can? Well, check out the Full Federal Court’s decision in Kenman Kandy Australia Pty Ltd v Registrar of Trade Marks, where Kenman Kandy was able to obtain registration for a chocolate millennium bug (remember those??). Alternatively, you can prove it for yourself by trying the quiz below!
Below are 13 registered shape trade marks from Australia and the US. Can you guess the brand from the shape?
1. Australian Trade Mark 706623
2. Australian Trade Mark 706789
3. Australian Trade Mark 707482
4. Australian Trade Mark 713018
5. US Trade Mark 3028381
6. Australian Trade Mark 718011 (hint: this one’s registered for “edible ice food bars and ice confectionery”)
7. Australian Trade Mark 923170
8. Australian Trade Mark 923171
9. Australian Trade Mark 959113
10. Australian Trade Mark 1075157
11. US Trade Mark 2535714
12. US Trade Mark 4051861
13. US Trade Mark 1707055