Over the years, we’ve helped many clients launch their businesses from scratch by creating brand identities that position them as leaders in their industries.
But how can you protect your business and its products and services?
That’s when we call in the lawyers.
We asked Ben Read of industry legal to cut through some of the legal jargon.
“We should start with a Trade Mark, which is a way of distinguishing the goods or services of your business from those of other businesses and a legally enforceable way to protect your brand.
“Upon registration, a Trade Mark gives you exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell the Trade Mark. This means that no one else in Australia can commercially use your Trade Mark within the class of goods and services it’s registered under. This protection gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses and a legally enforceable right to prevent or take legal action against unauthorised use of your Trade Mark by another business.
“So, what can you Trade Mark? Any feature (or combination of features) that distinguishes the goods or services of your business from that of another business can be registered as a Trade Mark. These features may include a logo, letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, picture or aspect of packaging.
“Many businesses choose to register more than one feature or aspect of their branding separately to more broadly protect and commercialise their goods and services such as a logo and a word.
“Unlike a registered Trade Mark (denoted by the symbol ®), registration of a business name, company name or domain name does not give you any exclusive ownership or proprietary rights to use the business name.
“Prior to investing money toward the setup or development of your business, you must always consider and make investigations into whether the name (or any other feature of the branding) you intend your business to operate under are not already being used or registered as a Trade Mark by another business.
“Without a registered Trade Mark, protecting your brand from unauthorised use can be an expensive and ineffective use of your resources.
As a Trade Mark owner:
- You have a valuable asset and marketing tool and can help build the value of your business;
- You have the right to initiate proceedings against business competitors and other businesses that are infringing your Trade Mark;
- You have legally enforceable protection in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years, after that time you can renew your registration;
- You have the scope to expand your Trade Mark protection internationally; and
- You can file a ‘Notice of Objection’ to the importation of goods which infringe your registered rights with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
“If you’re interested in making an application to obtain registration of a Trade Mark it is recommended you seek assistance from a suitably qualified lawyer.”
For further information, Ben can be contacted on 0438 699 095 or via www.industrylegal.com.au
Please note that the above does not constitute legal advice.