Registering a trademark can be crucial to your business success.
And while the application process to register a trademark appears straightforward, it’s helpful to keep the following points in mind.
1 Ensure that your trademark is a trademark
By definition a trademark is a sign that one trader uses to distinguish their goods and/or services from the similar goods or services of other traders.
A sign, is considered to be a:
- Aspect of packaging
- Sound, or
- A combination of the above.
If you’re registering a trademark by yourself, it’s important to register the trademark that gives your brand and business the highest level of protection possible.
Seeking advice from a trademark law specialist can alleviate the possibility that down the track the trademark you registered isn’t protecting your business and brand as you thought it would.
Trademark law specialists can also ensure that the trademark you register distinguishes your product or service as yours and that it acts as a badge of origin for these goods and services.
2 Understand that the trademark registration process is lengthy
In Australia it takes a minimum of seven and a half months to register a trademark. And it’s for this reason that Quick off the Mark® advises that as much groundwork and homework is done as possible before your file your application.
Standard trademark registration applications take up to four months before you receive confirmation from the government that your trademark is acceptable for registration. For this reason, it’s important that any issues relating to your trademark’s ability to be registered are overcome or understood before you submit the application.
It is because of this lengthy examination time frame that Quick Off the Mark® always files under an early assessment system for clients. You can apply online via Quick Off the Mark here.
Being prepared and aware of any trademark registration issues as early as possible will save you time, money and a lot of headaches.
While the trademark registration process appears to be only an administrative one, it can actually be a complex, lengthy legal process that has tests that must be met before your trademark registration can be approved.
3 Have clear business goals for the future
When you register a trademark, the registration is done in connection with the types of products and/or services you “brand” with the trademark.
And because the types of products and/or services cannot be expanded on later in an existing registration, it’s important to have clarity around where your business will be in 12 months, 5 or 10 years.
Quick off the Mark® suggests that you include any products or services that you intend to promote under your trademark in the next 3 years.
And while this timeframe is generous, it’s important to note that trademarks are vulnerable to removal if they’re unused for too long, or there wasn’t an intention to use the trademark on the goods and/or services when the trademark was filed for registration.
4 Understand the impact of registering your logo in colour, or black and white
Generally speaking, Quick off the Mark® suggests that its clients file logos in black and white instead of full colour representations. In Australia’s jurisdiction, “colour” only limits or restricts the registered and/or protected trademark when an additional statement to the application specifically claims it.
In Australia’s jurisdiction, “colour” only limits or restricts the registered and/or protected trademark when an additional statement to the application specifically claims it.
Other countries, such as the USA automatically restrict the final protected rights to any colouring seen within a logo.
When you register your trademark in black and white you get more flexibility in Australia and overseas to use your logo in different colours.
5 Know your import and export trademark registration rights
If your business imports a product to Australia that’s supplied and branded by an overseas company, you likely do not have the right to register the brand as a trademark in your ownership in Australia.
If your business distributes a product for someone else, there’s a high chance the company you distribute the product for will be seen as the brand and trademark owner. This is usually the case even if they haven’t sought to protect their trademark rights in Australia.
If your business intends to export a product to another country, Quick off the Mark® advises that you need to be mindful that trademark registration is a country-by-country process for the most part.
Conducting searches as early as you can may alleviate the need to rebrand the product in different countries due to trademark registration issues.
Quick Off the Mark® also encourages clients to seek international trademark registration in any jurisdiction in which their trademarks will be promoted in respect of the relevant goods and/or services.
When you’re registering a trademark there is a possibility the application may receive an objection (known as an adverse report) in the first instance. If for some reason your trademark registration doesn’t meet legal requirements, you may still have an opportunity to register your trademark.
If you receive an adverse report from the Trade Marks Office we are happy to review it and offer preliminary advice and recommendations as to the steps you may be able to take in order to overcome any issues presented during the trademark application process.
While the application process for trademark registration appears simple and easy, trademark law is complex. Quick off the Mark® provides a cost effective trademark registration service.
The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your business objectives, legal situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, legal situation and needs
Quick Off the Mark® is a division of Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd (MMW). MMW was founded in 2011 and is headed by Jacqui Pryor, a registered trade marks attorney with more than 16 years experience.
In 2015 MMW acquired Quick Off the Mark®, which is a fast and affordable Australian trademark registration service. Quick Off the Mark® offers fixed fees that are affordable to help Australian businesses register their trademarks.