We come across the ® and “TM” symbol behind brand names almost every day and most people can identify that these are trademark symbols. Apart from that, how much more do people know about trademarks? How do you acquire a trademark, why do businesses use trademarks, what is the process involved?
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a sign or a descriptive form used in a business to distinguish one business from another. A business uses trademarks to distinguish itself from other similar businesses and to inform its target audience that certain goods or services come from a particular trader or service provider.
A trademark can be a word, phrase, letter, number, distinct shape, logo, picture, or aspect of packaging or a combination of these.
Trademarks in Australia
In Australia, trademarks are governed under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) and administered by Intellectual Property (“IP”) Australia. IP Australia is the body responsible for accessing, processing, approving and enforcing the laws on trademarks.
Registration of trademarks in Australia involves a number of stages.
Registered trademark and the advantages
Registration of a trademark is not compulsory but there are advantages and benefits of it.
These include but are not limited to:
- Effective marketing tool. More than often the public identifies and associates a certain quality and image with goods and services bearing certain trademarks and your trademark can be one of them! Your trademark may be an integral part of your marketing strategy and you will want to protect it. Registration provides such protection from infringement from competing businesses.
- Legal rights. Registration gives the trademark holders the legal right to use, licence or even to sell the trademark within Australia for the classes of goods and services for which it is registered. Once a mark has been registered as a trademark, other businesses will be prevented from registering a similar trademark.
- Notice to the world at large. Registration also serves as a nationwide constructive notice of one’s ownership of the trademark.
- Court’s jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of the federal court may be invoked against trademark ‘intruders’. If your trademark is registered and someone else uses the similar trademark for their business, you can demand and ‘order’ them to cease using it because you are the trademark owner.
- International trademarks. Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining international registration in all countries that are members of the Madrid Protocol. When your business expands overseas, your trademarks can have similar protection.
So you have developed a great name for your business or product with your own distinct logo and your business reputation counts on it?
Wouldn’t you feel offended when some other businesses claims your efforts to be theirs and steal your profit? Registration is the shield.
Your trademark is more than a mere symbol. Protect it!
How we can help
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers’ expert business lawyers can guide you through the process of trademark registration and ensure that your business’s intellectual property is protected and safeguarded from competitors.
Why choose us?
You will be talking to a real expert, local to you. You will not be treated like a file number, but as a real person, and a person going through a difficult and stressful experience. Get expert advice, not just what you want to hear, in a language you can understand, not legal jargon.
Q&S’s expert business lawyers are available at any of Q&S’s seven office locations.
Still need answers?
Submit an online enquiry below or call 1800 999 529.