For many businesses, your brand will be a crucial part of the identity of your business. Customers will often identify your business by reference to your logo, slogan, colour scheme or even a distinctive sound. The best way to protect these distinctive elements of your brand is by obtaining a registered trade mark. It is possible to trade without obtaining registration for these elements of your brand. However, by obtaining a registered trade mark you will have a record of the date on which you began using a trade mark, the exact mark you have registered, and the classes in which you have obtained registration. This can be very advantageous when seeking to assert or enforce your rights against others who use marks that are similar to yours.
LegalVision’s trade mark lawyers can assist you with:
registering a trade mark in Australia and overseas;
responding to a trade mark opposition;
defending a trade mark infringement claim;
renewing a trade mark; and
lodging a trade mark infringement.
Registering a trade mark can be a lengthy process. It involves classifying your brand into one of IP Australia’s 45 classes and conducting a comprehensive trade mark search before making your application. Our trade mark lawyers have successfully registered hundreds of trade marks in Australia and overseas and can assist you with your application.
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5 Things You Need to Know About Trade Marks
1A trade mark is a way of protecting your brand, whether it be a brand name, logo or other distinctive element which distinguishes your business. By trade marking the name or logo you use to provide your products or services, you are distinguishing your brand from your competitors. Trade marking gives you rights against competitors who could seek to use similar trade marks in relation to the products or services you provide.
2For smaller businesses, trade marking shows that you have taken steps to establish and protect your brand. It can be an effective strategy to provide your business with legitimacy in the eyes of customers. A ™ or ® next to your brand name can reassure potential investors, business partners and customers that your business is thinking about the future.
3The first step in registering a trade mark is to check whether the name you’re looking to use is already in use by someone else. Your trade mark attorney, consultant or lawyer can perform a variety of searches to see whether a trader is already using the name that you wish to trade mark. If those searches don’t reveal any issues, you’ll be able to proceed to the application phase.
4Submitting an application requires the applicant to choose which of the 45 classes you wish to trade mark in. Classes are divided up along product and service lines. You should only register a trade mark in a class that is relevant to your products or services as each class that you wish to register your trade mark in will incur additional fees. Many businesses register their trade marks in multiple relevant classes.
5Once your trade mark attorney, consultant or lawyer submits your application, a number of issues may arise, including objections from competitors, questions from IP Australia. If this process is navigated effectively, your registration will be complete by around seven and half months after the initial application was made. Finally, remember that an Australian trade mark registration does not protect you internationally, so if you’re looking for international protection, talk to your trade mark lawyer.