Including International Trademarks
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A trade mark is any sign that you use to distinguish your products and/or services from those of others. A ‘sign’ in this context could be a name, slogan, logo, image, colour, shape, scent or even a sound (or a combination of these things). Most often, trade marks are names or logos.
As your business becomes profitable, your brand’s value grows. After investing your finances and creativity into building a recognised brand, you’re now starting to stand apart in the market. However, you don’t want competitors copying your brand’s distinguishing features. Registering a trade mark can give legal protection to the components that represent your brand – names, logos and taglines.
Successful registration takes a minimum of seven and a half months, and must be renewed every ten years, in order to remain a registered trade mark. If there are objections to your trade mark application, it can take longer.
Exclusivity and uniqueness: Registering a trade mark secures your intellectual property in a name. A registered trade mark gives you exclusive rights to use that name in relation to the goods and/or services registered under that trade mark. It also allows you to take action against anyone who may infringe on those rights.
Avoiding infringement claims: If you successfully register, this significantly reduces the chance of receiving an infringement claim from someone who has subsequently started using the same or similar trade mark.
A symbol of reputation and goodwill: You need a name that is strong, memorable and, importantly, unique to your business and its goods and/or services. Protecting your name and the reputation it engenders through trade mark registration is a must.
IP Australia is the government body that assesses and registers trade marks after an application has been made. All trade marks are publicly available on the IP Australia Trade Mark Search portal. The portal allows you to search to see if your business name or logo has already been taken.
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