Are you looking to start your own painting business or expand your already existing painting business? If so, you should begin to consider how to protect the intellectual property of your business. It can be difficult as a business owner to consider intellectual property as a vital aspect of your business. Moreover, it can be even more difficult to find the money and time required to firstly, identify your intellectual property, and secondly, seek legal advice concerning how it can be protected. Thankfully, by having an understanding of the aspects of intellectual property law that are most relevant to your business, you can prioritise protecting the most vulnerable parts of your business.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property is an all-encompassing term that is seen in both Australian and international law. Within intellectual property are a number of further categories, such as trademarks, patents, copyright, trade secrets, etc. However, you need not worry about all of these categories for your painting business, as you will predominately be dealing with trademarks.
A trademark is a mark that a business uses to distinguish its product from that of any competition. Therefore, it can be in the form of a sign, symbol, word, lettering, number, smell or colour that has the purpose of distinguishing a product. Trademarks are essential for any business that wishes to build a rapport with its customers, as it denotes the quality of the work you have done. Furthermore, it is your trademark that separates your painting business and your work from that of the competition, as without it, your work would be indistinguishable from that of any other.
How can I protect my trademark?
Many business owners find it surprising that a trademark is not automatically protected at law. Even if a business has been using a brand for decades, it will still not be protected unless you go through a particular process. This process is known as trademark registration, and will be essential in ensuring the protection of the intellectual property of your painting business.
In order for your trademark to be protected by Australian and international law, it must be registered with IP Australia. Sadly, the process of registration of a trademark can prove to be a long and rather arduous one. However, this is not an excuse to put registration on the backburner. Every day you delay could be the day someone else chooses to register your trademark for themselves, thereby preventing you from using your trademark ever again.
Can I register my own trademark?
The short answer to this question is yes – of course, you can. However, without prior legal experience it can prove to be a very difficult undertaking indeed. Australia is a signatory to a number of international conventions concerning intellectual property and trademarks. As such, it is possible that your trademark will be compared not only to ones here in Australia but to those used overseas. Also, it might be the case that some other business chooses to challenge your registration of a trademark by stating that yours is too similar to theirs.
Consequently, as the owner of a painting business, it is sound practice for you to seek legal advice before you go through with the registration process. By doing this, you could save yourself a great deal of time any money, and possibly receive some advice on how to make your trademark appropriate for registration. Also, you would have someone familiar with your business were another business to challenge the registration of your trademark with IP Australia.
If you are looking to start your own painting business or expand your already existing painting business, you should begin to consider how to protect the intellectual property of your business. Although intellectual property is a broad term, you should start to protect the most valuable intellectual property of your business by registering your trademark(s) with IP Australia. However, this can prove to be a difficult task for any business owner. Therefore, it would be beneficial for your business to seek the advice of a legal professional before you begin this process.
For more information on protecting the intellectual property of your business, feel free to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.