Reading time: 3 minutes

If you are in business then the chances are you have at least one trademark.

A trademark, by definition, is any sign that you use to distinguish your products and/or services from those of other people. 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, trademarks are names or logos.

Given the definition, a trademark exists whether you choose to register it or not. A business name can be a trademark if it is capable of distinguishing your products or services from those of other people, as is a brand name or corporate logo. Registering these things as your trademarks, however, ensures you are recognised as the owner – and are protected in your use and promotion of these things for the particular goods or services your business deals in.

Without trademark registration, you are vulnerable to infringing existing rights, or being powerless in stopping others from using the same or similar names and logos.

Legal rights of Trademark Registration

  1. The right to use the name or logo, in connection with the goods or services nominated; a business name, company name or similar does not provide this right. Registration of a business/company name could inadvertently infringe the existing rights of a trademark holder. At the very least, trademark searches should be carried out;
  2. The right to authorise the use of the name or logo in connection with the goods or services. This would be required if you wish to franchise your business, or generally license the use of your name/logo to someone else. You should not be providing someone else with permission to use your name/logo without trademark registration safely secured or you could be giving them permission to infringe someone else’s rights!
  3. The right to instigate action against people found to be infringing your rights. Without trademark registration in place, you are quite limited in action available to stop people from copying your names or logos – or from using names/logos very similar to your own. Having the trademark registered will give you the legal legs to stand on in preventing such confusing activity from occurring.

Non-legal Rights of Trademark Registration

Whilst not ‘legal rights’ per se, registered trademarks provide further benefits to you/your business, including:

  • Higher sale value should you ever wish to sell your business. Trademarks are saleable assets, just as a physical or tangible asset is; You would be selling peace of mind to a new owner, as well as goodwill attached to your brand.
  • Appearance of professionalism and longevity. Most people are familiar with trademark symbols of ™ and ®. Being able to promote your business name/logo alongside the ® symbol creates the impression in your customers’ minds that you are serious about your business and intend to be around for a while.
  • Additional income stream for your business. As trademark registration allows you to license use of the trademark to other people, you can generate further income through licensing fees (royalties);
  • Get ahead overseas. By registering your trademark in Australia, you are afforded a couple of benefits should you wish to also protect your mark overseas – such as the ability to utilise the Madrid Protocol for simple international protection process, and also utilise the priority period available to you based on your Australian application.
Webinars

Construction Contract Essentials

Thursday 12 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Understand how construction contracts are drafted and how to protect your construction business.
Register Now

Startup 101: Understanding Cap Tables and ESOPs

Thursday 19 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Cap tables and employee share option plans are essential for fast-growing startups. Learn more with this free webinar.
Register Now

Expanding to NZ: Structuring Your Business For Success

Thursday 26 August | 2:00 - 2:45pm

Online
Launching a business in New Zealand? Understand how to structure your business for success with this free webinar.
Register Now

Preventing Modern Slavery: Your Business’ Legal Obligations

Thursday 9 September | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Are you an Australian business with $100m+ annual consolidated revenue? Learn how to determine if you are a modern slavery reporting entity and your obligations under the legislation with this free webinar.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer