I received a question in response to this post about sound trademarks. "
- 'What has to be provided to trademark a particular sound?'
According to TRIPs the ability to file and register a sound trademark "depends on [the] aural perception of the listener which may be as fleeting as the sound itself unless, of course, the sound is so inherently different or distinctive that it attaches to the subliminal mind of the listener to be awakened when heard and to be associated with the source or event with which it struck."
Okay, now what does that actually mean? Basically, the sound has to be 'inherently different or distinctive' in that when someone hears it the sound is associated with the mark.
Filing a sound trademark application is similar to filing a traditional trademark except in respect to the sound itself. Further details can be found here.
- 'In The US what does this cost to trademark a sound?'
- 'Are there many countries where sounds cannot be trademarked?'
There are different rules and restrictions, which more can be read about here.