- You have set up a blog, you’ve made some posts, you’ve set up your social media profiles, and after a while you have started to get a loyal following of friends and bloggers. That’s awesome!
- Then, once your hits and clicks start climbing, you realise that this could be more than just a hobby, but could become a business. REALLY? You can make money from your blogs?
- After you have made a bit of money, you might get a logo, buy a domain name and hosting and run an independent website.
- It is vital that you protect your blog’s brand and your blog’s income with an Australian registered trademark!
How do you Register your Blog Trademark
When you’re registering your blog trademark online, finding the right trademark service to guide you through the process can be daunting. Trademark registration is a long, complex process, and unfortunately most online services can confuse the process even further.
Most online blog trademark services offer a range of packages that relate to blog trademark registration: blog owners unfamiliar with the registration process are faced with the confusing decision of which package is best suited to them. The simple fact is that there are no choices that you need to make when you’re registering your trademark. There is only one process for registering your mark: this is the process that every online trademark service should offer.
Think Twice about using Cheap Online Services
Cheap package deals are the first indication of a dodgy online blog trademark service: registering your mark with this service could, in fact, put your trademark at risk. Your chance at registering your mark could be reduced, or you could even be sued for trademark infringement, if your registration is not completed by a professional. Package deals are a marker for unprofessionalism. You need a trademark professional to be able to interpret the information correctly, or in 6 months’ time, when the result comes back from IP Australia, you could find yourself needing to pay much more.
You try the do-it-yourself way if you feel confident
When you’re comparing blog trademark registration services, be wary of document-filing or DIY trademark registration sites. These sites advertise low-cost, low-stress registration processes: however, these websites will do you no justice. More often than not, DIY trademark registration sites are not run by trademark professionals: therefore the information provided on these websites is often misleading, or incorrect, as those writing it were unfamiliar with the registration process. While these sites might provide you with the correct forms for your trademark registration, they will not offer you legal advice or protection should another party move to block your registration, or if another party decides to take legal action against you for infringement.
Ensure you use the best people for your trademark protection
The only way to properly register your blog trademark is to use a trademark professional. Quite simply, any other service is incapable of properly registering your trademark, because only a professional can provide you with legal guidance. There are a number of steps to trademark registration that only an experienced professional can navigate:
- Undertake and evaluate a trademark search
- Draft a specification of your company’s goods and services
- Advise an appropriate filing basis
- Respond to substantive issues raised by Intellectual Property Australia
- Respond to blocks or legal action undertaken by other registered parties
Without the guidance of a blog trademark professional, you could find yourself caught in a legal battle that you don’t understand and your new blog company may receive financial damage as well as a loss of goodwill.
Narrowing Your Blog Trademark Search
You require the services of a blog trademark professional online: so how do you find these services? One of the best search terms to use is ‘fixed-fee trademark registration’ or ‘fixed fee trademark professional’. This is an effective search term because the top trademark professional websites advertise fixed-fee rates. Fixed-fee services are generally best: there is too much risk in paying an hourly rate. Fixed-fees are usually uniform amongst the top professional websites, so now your comparison will be dependent on non-price factors. We offer fixed fees, click here!
Ensure that you get the Best Blog Trademark Advice
There are a number of non-price factors that differentiate one virtual trademark professional from another. Search each professional’s website for the following information:
Check whether the professional includes ‘responding to substantive office actions’ in their fixed-fee quote. If the fixed-fee only includes ‘non-substantive office actions’ or otherwise limits the length of time that they will spend prosecuting your registration application, you are not truly receiving the fixed-fee rate. A good blog trademark professional will not limit prosecution.
Ensure that your Blog Trademark Professional has a Money Back Policy
Ensure that your professional includes a ‘money-back’ policy should your searches unearth issues that prevent you from filing your trademark registration. If the professional’s trademark searches reveal that your mark is not eligible for registration, you want to ensure that you will not have to pay a fixed-fee rate for nothing. Some professionals will hold onto your money even after they learn that you cannot register your mark, and that the other services included in your fixed-fee are now null and void. Make sure that you are familiar with each virtual professional’s policy. Some may charge you for the search; others may offer a discount on a new trademark search, or offer to do a new search for free. Check, too, that the professional will conduct a series of initial ‘knock-out’ searches before conducting a full trademark search. These initial searches are low-cost and may save you from having to undergo a full database search. We offer a FREE TRADEMARK SEARCH.
Does the Trademark Professional Charge By the Hour?
Check whether the blog trademark professional offers consultation time. You should avoid services that limit consultation time. The trademark registration process is incredibly detailed, very confusing, and requires a great deal of communication between client and professional. Both you and your professional will have a number of questions to ask of one another throughout the registration process: you don’t want this flow of information obstructed by limited consultation time.
Check that your class of good or service is included in the fixed-fee. Most professionals will only include one class of good or service in the flat fee: a few include more than one. The more classes included in the flat fee, the better. In most cases, your goods and services will span across multiple classes. Be sure that the fixed-fee covers all classes to avoid having to pay unexpected fees.
Comparing blog trademark services is simple: ensure that the service is being offered by a trademark professional and analyse the items included in the fixed-fee rate in order to determine which professional is best for you. Your money will be well spent, and your trademark will be protected from infringement.
Register your Blog’s Trademark Internationally
You blog’s trademark may be vulnerable if it isn’t registered internationally, regardless of how protected you believe it is. Someone infringing on your trademark in an overseas country can be as devastating to your business as someone opening an identical store to yours in the same street. Filing for international trademark registration is a crucial step in any business. Without proper protection, you are at risk of the loss of your brand equity that is associated with those trademarks. When you apply for international registration, you gain leverage of your brand to form the basis of expansion. However, if you permit other companies to use your mark in other countries, you are diluting the power of your trademark and the value of your brand. This could affect your chances for global expansion in the future.
International trademark registration
Your blog’s trademark is the key to your brand equity and goodwill. If you feel that your brand equity can be extended overseas, you should begin top consider filing an international blog trademark application to protect your rights to exclusive use of your mark. Due to the global nature of modern business blogs, particularly with the side effects of online commerce and social media, it is essential that you are able to control your brand (and subsequent goodwill) on a global level, rather than allowing another party to use your brand in a different country. Certainly, brands are increasingly globalised, yet controlling and protecting your brand internationally can be difficult. You need to understand the trademark regulations in each nation you register your mark in.
For example, you are only truly entitled to the exclusive use of your mark within Australia if you have registered your with IP Australia. Without formal registration, you cannot truly protect your mark against infringers or copiers. However, in some overseas nations, your rights to your mark are determined by the way that you use it, rather than determined by the paperwork you have filed.
How to Establish Brand Equity on an International Scale
Most registered blog trademark holders choose to register their marks in a number of key countries internationally, or with the countries in which they trade. The first step to creating international brand equity is to register your trademark in the countries that will be strategic to your business. You can register directly through the relevant office in each country, or file a single application through IP Australia. Your application can be filled out by yourself, or by a trademark professional on your behalf.
You can save both time and money by filing a single application with IP Australia, who will nominate relevant countries under the Madrid Protocol. To do this, you must first register your mark within Australia, and then you are granted the ability to extend your registration over any of the 86 nations included in the Madrid Protocol. You will have to pay the relevant fees within each country, but filing a single application is a comparatively inexpensive option compared with multiple applications. Bear in mind that other countries may choose to reject your application, while others will choose to accept it.
If you want your blog to become a business, it is vital that you register your blog trademark – contact us for more
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.