Although often overlooked, trade marks are essential to protect your business’ brand. Ensuring this protection can be a complicated process, which is why it’s a good idea to engage a lawyer right from the very start of the process. A trade mark lawyer can assist with:
- responding to objections; and
- enforcing protection if there has been an infringement.
This article explains the five key reasons why it’s useful to have a lawyer with expertise in trade marks to assist you.
1. Lodging a Trade Mark Application Yourself Can Be Risky
Deciding to apply for a trade mark is often done with the aim of protecting one of your most valuable assets: your brand. The last thing anyone wants after a long and complicated application process is for the mark to be rejected. Not only will it have been a waste of time and money, but your brand will be left vulnerable to copycats.
A trade mark lawyer can help you avoid this disappointment by giving your application the best chance of succeeding. DIY applications often:
- contain mistakes;
- do not give all the correct information; and
- don’t comply with trade mark laws.
Issues that are often overlooked can be solved through the expertise of a trade mark lawyer. The cost of engaging the right lawyer is much smaller than the potential costs of having no protection or the wrong protection.
2. The Trade Mark Registration Process is Complicated
Understanding the legal requirements for a successful trade mark registration isn’t easy. For a sign to be approved, it must meet certain requirements which include:
- not being too descriptive;
- not being too similar to anything that already exists in the same or similar category of goods or services; and
- being in the correct goods or services categories (called “classifications”).
A trade mark lawyer can ensure that all of these thresholds are met and that your application is completed correctly.
3. A Lawyer Can Predict Potential Issues and Mitigate Risk
After you have given instructions to your trade mark lawyer, they will use their knowledge of the law to identify any potential issues before you apply. Some of the responsibilities that a lawyer can take on include:
- selecting the right goods or services classifications for your mark;
- predicting any potential objections;
- identifying the best strategies to resolve potential objections; and
- creating applications to protect the use of your branding.
Overall, a lawyer can reduce the risk of having someone object to your trade mark in the future because of non-use.
4. Coming Up With A Solid Brand Protection Strategy
Trade mark lawyers can help you come up with a strategy to protect your brand.
This increases the chances of your application being successful. Further, it ensures that any goodwill built around your brand will not be in vain if you have to change your name.
Trade mark lawyers are very familiar with the kind of marks that prospective purchasers like to see. This is particularly useful if you are planning to sell your business at some point in the future.
Lawyers can also help implement practical strategies that ensure your consumers know that they are dealing with protected intellectual property (IP).
5. Help with Infringement
As mentioned earlier, brand names are a crucial element of a business’ overall identity. If you achieve significant success, other companies may exploit your brand name and logo for their personal gain. In these circumstances, you should engage a lawyer to help enforce your legal rights.
Lawyers can assist with enforcing your trade mark rights if a competitor has exploited your trade mark through a number of methods. They may begin with sending a cease and desist letter but can escalate things by taking court action if necessary.
A trade mark lawyer can help you:
- register your brand;
- come up with a strategy to protect your rights; and
- deal with any issues that may arise.
The expertise of a lawyer can provide peace of mind in the knowledge that your business’ brand is adequately protected. If you have any further trade mark questions, please contact LegalVision’s trade mark lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.
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