It’s easy to overlook the importance of formally protecting your brand as you try to cultivate a loyal customer following and establish your reputation. Below, we explain why trade mark registration is important, how it protects your brand and the steps required to trade mark your product line’s name.
What Is a Product Line?
A product line is a collection of related products under a single brand sold by the same company. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a familiar brand, for example, a new range of cooking utensils Jamie Oliver released.
What Is A Trade Mark?
A trade mark is any sign used to distinguish your goods and services from those of other businesses. It may be words, symbols, logos, images, shapes and colours, or a combination of all these. Although your trade mark may be unique to your market or industry , it is not automatically protected and exclusive use is not guaranteed. To obtain exclusive rights to use your trade mark, you need to register it with IP Australia. This requires actively completing and submitting your application to IP Australia to register your trade mark.
Why Is Registering Your Trade Mark Important?
Registering your business’ name or logo grants you exclusive rights to take action against another individual or business using your trade mark without your permission. If you fail to register your trade mark, it’s possible that someone else will. Consequently, they will have the exclusive right to use your mark which may mean that continuing to use a similar mark may be considered trade mark infringement. You should check IP Australia’s database, ATMOSS as well as conduct Google searches before getting too attached to your brand name or logo.
Benefits of Registering Your Trade Mark
Trade mark registration is a valuable asset for your company and can increase your business’ value. For example, if you decide to sell your business, your trade marks will be an attractive business asset for buyers. If IP Australia registers your trade mark, you have the exclusive rights to use your mark and as such can licence or assign your rights to another business. Registration improves your position when trying to exploit your intellectual property commercially.
Which Goods and Services Do I Want To Protect?
Trade mark registration only extends to the types of goods and services you include in your trade mark application. Before you apply to trade mark your product line name, think about what kind of goods or services your provide and will provide in the future. . There are 45 categories of goods and services known as ‘classes’. You will need to identify which classes your goods and services belong in when completing your application.
How Long Will It Take?
Remember that the trade mark registration process takes time. Prior to registration, your trade mark application will has to be captured, examined and advertised for opposition. As such, registration can take upwards of 7.5 months. IP Australia examines trade mark applications in the order they are received. A trade mark lasts for ten years unless you cancel it earlier, or it is removed for non-use.
Questions? Get in touch with our trade mark lawyers to assist you with your queries about registering a trade mark for your product line’s name.