It is important for business owners to be aware of the benefits of registering trademarks.
To do so will enable a business owner to both protect valuable intellectual property and probably add significant value to a business.
The 5 key points that business owners need to be aware about trademarks are:
1. Just because you have registered a business name, company name or domain name e.g. Priority does not give you intellectual property rights in those names. Essentially registration of these names simply allows you to have the use of the names for the time being. It may be useful to brand your business but it is a common fallacy that they actually attract intellectual property rights by themselves.
2. If you do not proceed to register a trademark then it is difficult and sometimes impossible to pursue a competitor who infringes your mark. In order to do so in these circumstances you need to rely on your common law rights to seek redress in the courts.
3. All trademark registrations are governed by the Trademarks Act 1995(Commonwealth) and undertaken through IP Australia. If ultimately the application for a trademark is successful then you gain priority from the date that you lodge the application even though the process may take several months. Subject to there being no opposition to your application, it will be processed within a reasonable time. Prior to embarking on such a course, you should arrange for a search to be undertaken to ensure that the trademark sought is available. Incidentally IP Australia is one of the few profitable quasi governmental organisations.
4. You can register a variety of trademarks including but not limited to words, logos, words and images together, sounds, smells, shapes and colours. It is advisable, on a basic level, to register both the words associated with your brand separately and then the words in conjunction with any logo for better protection.
5. You need to renew your trademark application every 10 years and pay the necessary fee. During any period when you have a registered trademark you should use it continuously in the marketplace as otherwise you risk action by a competitor to take advantage of the non-use and seek to have it removed.
Applying to register a trademark is not an easy process and should be the subject of specialist advice.
At Priority Business Lawyers we are regularly instructed by clients to make application for trademarks on their behalf and we welcome your enquiries.
For further information phone 4305 3500 or Contact David