A business or a trade name does not give you legal rights to that name. If someone uses your business name for their business, you have limited rights to stop them.
Naming your business is usually your most important branding exercise. Before you commence trade, substantial effort and time is put into thinking up a suitable business name, something that gives your product/service the edge and a name that you are proud to be associated with. Your business name and identity is one of the most valuable assets so it is worth protecting. The same effort and value applies for your slogan, taglines and catch phrases developed in association with your brand.
There are four main reasons why you trade mark:
- A trade mark legally protects your name/logo and legally stops others from trading with it;
- With a registered trade mark, you obtain the benefit of exclusive use of that mark (words or symbol) throughout Australia;
- If you get trade mark protection, you are protected in all States and Territories of Australia for a period of 10 years (with the option of renewing for periods of 10 years).
- Being an Australian trade mark owner makes it easier to apply for marks in other countries.
If you need exclusive use of your trade name/logos/taglines, you should register them as a trade mark. A registered trade mark under the Trade Mark Act 1995 gives you the exclusive legal right to use, license and sell your intellectual asset in Australia.
The main aim of Trademarking is to protect the identity of your goods and services and prevent others from imitating your brand.
Registration of a company name or a trade name does not in itself give you any exclusive ownership or proprietary right to use that name. Only a trade mark can give you this kind of protection.
If you decide not to bother with a trade mark, please bear in mind that your rights to stop someone trading in a manner similar to you are severely impacted. If you do not lodge your trade mark and someone else starts using your name or even your mark in a way which impacts your business, you can only take steps to prevent them from continuing to trade in that manner if they can be convicted of trying to pass themselves off as you and impacting your goodwill.
The process of seeking such protection is slow, expensive and arduous. However, if you register your trade mark, you avoid these arguments in their entirety. The reason being is that you own the exclusive rights to commercially use, license and sell the trade mark. This means no one else in Australia can commercially use your trade mark within the class of goods and services it is registered under.
You spend so much time building your business. Your IP is valuable. The least you can do is protect it with a trade mark.
At businessDEPOT Legal, we can guide you through the trade mark registration frame work and provide a tailored approach to suit your trade mark protection needs. Whether it be from simple registration through to the strategic development of your brand portfolio nationally and internationally.
For personalised advice, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the businessDEPOT Legal team.
General Advice Disclaimer
Information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute financial or legal advice. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, but information may become outdated as legislation and new government announcements are made. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision as it does not take into account their personal circumstance. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult a licensed adviser or legal practitioner to take into account your particular objectives, circumstances and individual needs.