Are you looking to start your own panel beating business or expand your already existing panel beater business? If so, it is important that you consider protecting your intellectual property. When thinking about what aspects of your business are most important to your customers, it is unlikely that you would include intellectual property in that list. However, for many customers your intellectual property is the reason they come to you. Intellectual property in the form of a trademark can signify trust and reliability to many customers, and knowing that your mark will be present on any finished product can mean more than the finished product itself. Therefore, it is important that you protect your intellectual property from less honourable competitors within your industry.

What part of my business is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is an all-encompassing word that is used to define a number of separate legal concepts such as; trademarks, patents, trade secrets and copyright. As a result, depending on how you run your panel beating business, a range of practices you engage in could lead to the creation of intellectual property. It is likely that your business practices will ensure that most of your intellectual property is inherently protected, due to keeping files under lock and key and ensuring that only the trusted employees have access to them. Therefore, when considering where to start, a good place to start is something that by its nature cannot be kept secret, and that is your trademark.

A trademark is essentially any mark in the form of a word, sign, symbol, letter, number, style, colour or sound that you use to identify your product from that of another business. By the same token, it is what your customers use to identify the final product of your business. Therefore, it can be said that a trademark reflects everything your business stands for in terms of quality of service and product, as ultimately your trademark becomes the embodiment of the reputation of your panel beating business.

Why should I protect my trademark?

Many business owners mistakenly believe that because they use a trademark to define their business, the law automatically protects it. However, as many business owners find out to their peril, this is not the case at all. As a result, if you do not protect the trademark of your panel beating business, it will be possible for anyone to copy it and use it for their own purposes.

Sadly, due to the level of competition in the panel beating industry, there are a number of lazy or mischievous business owners who will look to take the easy option of leeching off the reputation of other businesses. Consequently, it is entirely possible that, were you not to protect your trademark, another panel beater could use your mark in order to lure customers away from you. This would prove to be a horrible situation, as not only would you lose money, but also the reputation of your business could well be damaged. In addition, these other business owners could potentially take your trademark for their own, thereby preventing you from using your very own trademark.

How can I protect my trademark?

To protect the trademark of your panel beater business, you will be required to go through the somewhat arduous process of registering it with IP Australia. In addition, if you do not have prior legal experience, it can prove to be a very difficult task indeed, as your trademark will inevitably be compared against all other trademarks in existence to ensure it is truly unique. Furthermore, your trademark could be challenged by another business to prevent it from being registered. As such, it will most likely be necessary to seek the advice of a legal professional before registering your trademark to assist you in the process.

Conclusion

If you are looking to start your own panel beating business, or expand your already existing panel beating business, it is important that you consider protecting your intellectual property. Through protecting your intellectual property, most notably the trademark that you use to identify your product and service, and by which customers identify your business, you will be able to ensure your business continues to prosper and grow well into the future. If you have any further questions regarding how to protect the intellectual property of your business, please call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Adi Snir

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