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As a landscape or commercial gardener, you are focused on the day to day nurturing and growth of plants, the changing seasons and maintaining and creating the best environments for your clients. You might not then be thinking about how intellectual property and trade marks are important to your business. However, don’t overlook how you can monetise and protect your intellectual property. Below, we set out what you should be thinking about to protect your brand.

Marketing and Branding

One of the most important aspects of your marketing relies on clients recommending your services to family and friends. So, it’s critical to have a clear brand name and identity. Upon starting your business, you should identify the brand name you want. You should then undertake the appropriate business name searches to ensure that you can register the business name as well do a general google search to see whether there are similar names out there. Doing research early on in the process is beneficial as there is less opportunity for disappointment if you do not end up getting the name that you want.

Once you have decided on your business name and trade mark, a trade mark lawyer can help you register the name and protect your business by ensuring other gardeners can’t use a similar name in the same trade mark class.

Intellectual Property and Licensing

You should also seek to protect your intellectual property such as any photographs of your designs and gardens by making clear that you own the intellectual property in all your images. You can do this using a copyright symbol, as well as through a detailed website terms of use setting out how images can be used and your rights. Copyright is automatic in Australia, so if you took the photographs, you are the automatic copyright owner. If a professional photographer snapped the images, make sure that you have been assigned the intellectual property rights appropriately.

You may also be considering running your gardening or landscaping business under a licence or franchise. If so, you are likely to be subject to some terms as to how you can use and promote the licensor or franchisors brand to the public. You may have terms about how you can market your business, in what location and in what format. There may also be requirements as to the vehicle, equipment and uniform you are required to use.

Key Takeaways

As a landscape gardener, there are several intellectual property issues you should consider during the setup phase of your business. We can also assist you with any general legal business issues you may have such as client terms and conditions or website terms of use for your website. If you have any questions about your intellectual property, registering a trade mark or having your franchise agreement reviewed, we can also help. Leave the legals to us so you can focus on what really matters – creating beautiful gardens for your clients to enjoy. 

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Questions about protecting your intellectual property or registering a trade mark? Ask our intellectual property lawyers on 1300 544 755.

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