Are you considering bringing a unique product or service to market that requires some form of branding? A trade mark is a legally enforceable way to protect:
- aspect of packaging
- any combination of these that distinguishes your product from another.
Why do I need to register a trade mark?
Be aware that registration of a business name, company name or domain name does not in itself give you any exclusive rights to its use—only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection. Having a registered trade mark can be your most valuable marketing tool. It gives you the exclusive right in Australia to establish a brand identity and legally stop imitators. Unlike a business name, a registered trade mark can provide legal protection for your brand and enable you to stop others from trading with it.
Read about the difference between a business name vs a trade mark.
How do I register a trade mark?
To protect your business name from being used by someone else, you can register it as a trade mark. A registered trade mark under the Trade Marks Act 1995 gives you the exclusive legal right to use, license and sell your intellectual asset in Australia. The owner of a trade mark can apply for its registration. The registration period initially lasts for 10 years and can be continued indefinitely providing that you pay renewal fees.
It's important that you use your trade mark—other applicants can apply to have your trade mark deregistered if you haven't used it for more than three years.
Remember, registration of a business, company or domain name does not give you any proprietary rights to ownership of that name.
If you require exclusive use of your business name, you should register it as a trade mark. For further information on business, company and domain names, refer to the IP Australia website.
Once registered, the trade mark is protected in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years. For international protection, you need to register your trade mark in each country you want protection in.
Ensure you have exclusive use of your name now and in the future throughout Australia by registering your business name as a trade mark.
If you are unsure of what or how to register, seek the advice of your accountant, lawyer or trade mark attorney.