Are you looking to start your own Electrician business or expand your already existing electrician business? If so, it is important that you consider how you are going to protect the intellectual property of your business. The intellectual property of your business is essentially anything that you or your employees have created during the course of running your business. Therefore, when thinking about what could be constituted as the intellectual property of your business, you should think about everything that makes it unique. If your business had no intellectual property, your customers would be unable to distinguish your electrician business from the one down the road. Consequently, it is imperative that you ensure your most prominent intellectual property is protected as soon as possible.

How do I know if something is intellectual property?

It can be difficult to define what constitutes intellectual property, and, in fact, many cases question the definition. However, this need not worry you, as there are some crucial parts of your business which are without doubt intellectual property and in need of protection. First and foremost, you possess intellectual property in the form of any mark you have that identifies your business to your customers.

Such a mark is known as a trademark, which is one of the branches of the proverbial tree known as intellectual property. Other branches include copyright, patents and trade secrets, but for your purposes you do not need to concern yourself with them just yet. Therefore, your trademark could be in the form of a mark, word, style, diagram, colour or scent, so long as it identifies your business, your product and your work.

Why should I protect my trademark?

Australian law does not ensure automatic protection for trademarks used by businesses, as it is a requirement that all trademarks are registered with IP Australia before they’re given protection throughout Australia. Even if your electrician business uses something that meets the description of a trademark, it cannot be protected unless it is registered. It is an unfortunate reality that many business owners are unaware of this fact and continue to run their business with the belief that their trademark will be protected. There are some unscrupulous business owners who use unprotected trademarks to further their business.

Therefore, you should protect your trademark, as it represents everything that you and your customers value about your electrician business. Also, it will protect your business from those who wish to use your reputation to gain customers that would otherwise be yours. If another business has a trademark that is similar to yours and they register it before you, then you could be forced to either stop using yours altogether or alter it under Australian law.

How can I protect my trademark?

The only way to protect your trademark it to register it with IP Australia, which can prove to be quite a painful process. Nevertheless, it will ultimately be worthwhile, as it will ensure that the signs that distinguish your electrician business from the competition will legally become your property. It is likely, however, that you will need to seek legal advice before you seek to register your trademark because the process is a somewhat specialised one.

Although it is certainly possible to register a trademark without a lawyer, you will be required to learn about this area of law to ensure your trademark complies with Australia’s various intellectual property obligations. If you are not familiar with this area of law, you will risk losing a substantial amount of time and money in the event of a rejected application, and will have to start over.

Conclusion

If you are looking to start your own electrician business or expand your already existing electrician business, it is important that you consider how you are going to protect the intellectual property of your business. At this stage of your business, the most important piece of intellectual property that you own is most likely your trademark. Therefore, it is important that you begin the registration process as soon as possible to protect your business from rivals looking to take advantage of any unprotected intellectual property. This can be a complicated process, however, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice before you begin. Finally, if you have any further questions about how to protect the intellectual property of your business, feel free to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Adi Snir

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