The amount of your trademark and intellectual property, and the value of your trademark and intellectual property, increases over the length of time that you’re in business. Items such as your company name, logo, slogan, and all of your product or service names are recognisable to consumers within the marketplace. Similarly, consumers associate a certain level of quality and professionalism with your trademarks. This is why it’s so important that you take measures to protect your brand identifiers: they are often your most valuable assets.
There are a number of benefits to registering your trademark:
- Secure your rights on a national scale: Without a registered trade mark, you are not in a strong position to protect your mark from confusingly similar marks of other companies. For instance, if your business was popular on the Sunshine Coast, yet your mark was not registered, you could not prevent other companies from using similar, or identical, trademarks to identify similar products or services. In fact, another company might even apply for registration using your business name, thereby limiting your use of your own business name. By applying for trademark registration, you are able to block other companies from registering similar marks in order to siphon business off your good reputation. Registered trademarks give you the right to use your mark exclusively within Australia.
- License other parties to use your content or products: As the owner of a registered mark, you have the right to license other companies to use your mark for identical products and services. Licensing your mark allows you to expand the reach of your company, as well as increase your revenue. You might license an entrepreneur so that they can use your standards and methods to work with new clients. You could also license your brand name to another business. Before you consider licensing, however, you need to register your trademark in order to protect yourself against infringement. Registered trade mark holders have greater power over their licensees.
- Increase the value of your business or brand: Registering your unique trademark prevents other businesses from using confusingly similar marks to be competitive within the marketplace. Your own mark has the ability to increase your goodwill amongst consumers, therefore signifying the quality of your goods and services. Registering your trademark is something to consider if you want to obtain or increase outside capital, sell your business, or leave your business to a family member. A strong, unique trademark is essential to the success of a business.
- Prevent the replication of your mark to confuse brand recognition: Registering your mark prevents other companies within Australia from copying your mark in the hope of cashing in on your established reputation. Owning the registration of a mark puts you in a powerful, defensible position against potential infringement. Your federally registered mark provides you with ability to inflict harsh penalties against infringing parties: registration is a powerful deterrent against copycats and counterfeiters. Be sure to display your trademark registration wherever you advertise your products and services.
Seeking Trademark Advice
When you’re looking to protect your company’s intellectual property, it’s advisable that you seek the advice of an experienced trademark professional. Navigating the registration process can be a lengthy and complex task for those unfamiliar with trademark law. There are searches to be conducted, forms to be filled, and applications to be made. A great many applications are declined when companies meet complications and are unsure of how to proceed. Additionally, many companies are without a strong, unique trademark to register in the first place. A trademark consultant will not only assist you in the registration process: they will also advice you on the likelihood of your trademark being registered as it is.
Successfully registering a trade mark can be difficult, particularly if other companies with similar products and services are attempting to register their own trademarks. A trademark professional will help you defend your trademark even before it’s registered, as well as clarify any blocks or infringement cases that you come up against.
Beware of online companies that advertise their trademarking services. While these services can assist you in filing the initial application, they are often unqualified to handle dealings with IP Australia and the professional who will examine your application. You might be left to handle these issues alone. Should any action be taken against you, you will be up for additional payments to file a response.
Take the time to find a reliable, experienced trade mark consultant to navigate the complex maze of trademark registration. Your trademark professional will assist you in both the initial application, and all of the dealings to follow. Register your trademark with IP Australia to give yourself the exclusive use of your mark, and to protect your good reputation from infringement by other companies.
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.
Disclaimer – 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.